Parish of St Matthew the Apostle,
Douglas, Isle of Man

Young People's Corner

Hi! Cheer up. It’s summer and we have the privilege of living on a most beautiful island protected from many of the worst abuses in our chaotic world.

When you think of God, is he someone who is severe, demanding more than you can give and making you feel guilty because of your shortcomings? Or is he a friend, someone to help you through tough times and with whom you can have a laugh? Do you think God has a sense of humour?

I’m sure he must have to have created all the hilarious, comic, unusual, laughable things that make up our world – constantly varying cloud shapes; fantastic plant growths; weird shaped fish and sea life; awe-inspiring or eerie sounds; elephants and ants; and apes and us!

What is humour? What makes us laugh? Generally, it is the unexpected, the mistaken word or interpretation, someone’s embarrassment or where something is overdone or exaggerated.

Of course, we can have light humour which surprises, makes us laugh and is good fun or dark humour which not only surprises but also shocks and can be evil, cruel and destructive. As with everything in our lives moderation is essential!

Have you seen the TV pianist who plays a well-known piece of music but at an important place in the tune he plays a wrong note? It is very funny because the ‘mistake’ surprises us and makes nonsense of the tune. If all the notes were wrong, it wouldn’t be funny.

Mark Twain liked telling the small boy’s account of Elisha in one of his less ingratiating moods. ‘There was a prophet named Elisha. One day he was going up a mountain. Some boys threw stones at him. He said,

‘If you keep throwing stones at me, I’ll set the bears on you and they will eat you up.’ And they did, and he did, and the bears did. Can you find this story in the Bible? (Look in 2 Kings, Chapter 2 and verses 15 to 25. You could also look up the next story, Genesis, chapter 19 and verses 12 to 29.) The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot’s wife looked back and suddenly turned into a pillar of salt. ‘My mother looked back once while she was driving.’ contributed Willie. ‘She turned into a telegraph pole.’

When you go to bed tonight don’t forget to say thanks to God for the beauty of the island on which you live. God wants you to be happy and enjoy life, laugh and have fun, not be constantly miserable with feelings of guilt. However, you could be asked ‘What on earth are you doing for heaven’s sake?’ And remember, God answers Knee mail. Stay happy.