Monday, April 5, 2010
The last laugh
Remember the last time you felt you had the last laugh? It was satisfying, wasn't it? To get that final word in, to feel the wisest--the lone grain of wisdom in a sack of ignorant fools.
Remember, too, those times when you were not able to get that last laugh. You kept re-imagining the scene in your head to place the situation in your favor--the more you thought about it, the snappier and wittier your comebacks became... if only you had thought to say them at the time!
Who could blame anyone for wanting to have the last laugh? It's only natural that we don't want to be shamed; we don't want to lose face, and having the last laugh somehow redeems a person in the sight of others... or so we think.
Last holy week, I watched Mel Gibson's movie again and one of the things that I found really nice was that scene of Christ's sermon on the mount. He said, "If you love only your friends, what's hard in that?"
Think about it: Which is harder--getting the last laugh, or letting somebody else have it at your expense? Sometimes, not giving that snappy comeback, that witty comment, or that bitter retort is the best way to handle the situation. If you're in the wrong, it saves you from having to justify something you can never justify; if you're in the right... well, so was That Man on the mount, and HE never said a thing when everyone was laughing all around Him.
Forgoing the last laugh is one of those hard things we are asked to do--and to do without worrying so much about what other people will say or think. Aren't we all called to be more like Christ? Remembering how He was treated in the Passion makes our "shame" so little compared! What's wonderful is, no matter how little our offering is (and will always be), we are invited to share in the only last laugh won through humility and selflessness--
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused. -Anonymous