There’s Nothing Wrong with Being Fun
A visit from Auntie Ann was a big deal, and we looked forward to her arrival with excitement. Partly it was because we’d go on fun family outings, stay up late, and eat junk food. Mostly though, we just loved our aunt. Auntie Ann was the possessor of a rare quality – she was fun.
In the evenings we’d crowd around her on the couch while she read to us. Jack and the Beanstalk took on a new dimension. “Fee, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!” Auntie Ann’s voice boomed out the part of the giant, and in turn I shivered with delightful anticipation.
Long boring drives were enjoyable when Auntie Ann was in the car, at least for the children. Our parents eventually had to ban us from reacting to signs which stated falling rocks were ahead. These signs were plentiful throughout the mountain passes; and when we’d spot one, all kids in the back seat exploded by pitching back and forth and jabbing each other with elbows. According to Auntie Ann, this is what it would feel like if you got caught in a landslide.
Auntie Ann saw the fun and mischief in every situation, and even dad was a little bit naughty when Auntie Ann arrived. Mom would frequently have to scold the two of them to “behave.”
Best of all though was when she’d sit down at our piano and start playing. On Sunday mornings, she’d always be ready for church first. That’s when she’d dazzle us. As soon as we heard those first tinkling notes, we’d all rush to finish dressing; but once she started playing “Onward Christian Soldiers,” it didn’t matter what stage of dress we were in. Everybody would head to the den. Dad might be looping a tie around his neck while mom carried Berkeley under one arm – half stuffed into his little trousers. The big boys hopped down the hall with one shoe on and one shoe off, and Amy and I still needing someone to button or zip up the back of our dresses hurried to see too. There we’d stand, gawking as her fingers took over the keyboard. Oh to be able to play like Auntie Ann – my lifelong dream.
If we stood and watched too long, she might quit playing; so at the end of “Onward Christian Soldiers,” we’d cheer before dispersing back to our rooms. We’d finish getting dressed while the concert continued down the hall.
Auntie Ann is a Christian – a faithful Christian; and when I compare her to others, I’m often puzzled. I know Christians who only speak in hushed voices, heads tilted slightly to one side, and a faint frown line crossing their foreheads. I wonder if they feel they’re not spiritual if they don’t talk in a voice of awe and wonderment.
Somehow, they’ve missed out on, not only one of God’s greatest gifts, but also one of His commands – to be joyful. I’m not talking about a lack of reverence to God and the things He has for us in His Word, but the enJOYment He intends for us to have in the new life He’s given.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
So many things I admire about my Auntie Ann – her success as a teacher, the incredible musical talent she possesses, and the ability to make stories of travel live in my imagination; but the one thing I admire more than anything else is that she manages to walk the Christian walk and have fun at the same time.