In 1989 one of my favorite rappers, Heavy D, put out a song called, “We Got Our Own Thang.” The song was HOT! There is a particular section in the song when Heavy D shows off his fast talking skills and says, “A diddley-diddley-diddley-diddely-diddely-Deee!” My head is bopping to it right now! What Heavy D was expressing was his privilege to be different, distinct, and divergent than his rap industry counterparts. He wanted to do things his own way. There are times in our lives when we have to break from the norm and set out on unchartered paths, but there are also times when we need to adhere to old landmarks and well-paved roads that have been set before us to avoid the mistakes of our predecessors.
12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
In John 14:6 Jesus famously said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me.” It’s a well-known verse, but even though we know Jesus is the way and we know that he knows the way, and to boot we know that he has paved the way, we yet have a proclivity to go our own way. I don’t know if you’ve ever been convinced of your “own way.” In my generation we called it being “caught up.” It normally referred to a relationship that was bad for you, but was good to you and you couldn’t break away from it. As a matter of fact you hated that you loved it. No matter how much anyone told you how bad it would end, you still had to have your way. However, though our way may seem right, oftentimes following our own musings can end disastrous if we do not allow wise and godly counsel to help us navigate through what others have survived, but with scars.
13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
The bible calls laughter medicine. There have also been numerous medical reports that cite laughter as an “extender of life” of sorts for those in hospice. Laughter can also provide temporary salve for a heart burdened with the heavy troubles of this world, but it is not a permanent solution. Once the joke has passed, once the moment is over the grief remains. Grief is a subject that seldom get attention in our churches, but it is something that is real and can be extremely destructive. The word for grief here is a word that means “heaviness.” It’s a when a person literally feels the weight of what they are experiencing. Thankfully, the bible provides a remedy for this weight. In Isaiah 61:3 God said he would give us the “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” In other words, if the grief is still there you have to change clothes. Take off the heaviness and put on some praise and watch God work!