Gorillas in the Midst

Hello my friend, David here. Here’s something a bit different.

It was another misty morning in Hamilton. Apprehensively I approached the office clutching my packet of candy bananas dressed in my gorilla suit. Would I have the nerve to go through with this or would I climb into a leafy tree and eat the candy by myself?

“What the flip?” I hear you ask. Let me back up the truck.

A while go I met with our CEO. She was lamenting that the office lacked joy and laughter and people were getting a bit too serious. At the time we had around 200 staff and we were approaching some looming deadlines. “What would you do David?” she asked. Rather flippantly and far too casually I replied, “How about I hire a full gorilla costume and spend a day at work as ‘Gerald the Gorilla’ handing out bananas?” . “Great idea! How does tomorrow sound?” joyfully replied Bev. And Lo! Gerald was born.

Nek minute I became rather worried, I rang my wife. She laughed so hard she hung up on me. On the way home I picked up a gorilla costume, and spent a small fortune on candy bananas. I did a bit of a dress rehearsal at home and managed to make my then 3-year-old son burst into tears and run to his room. My wife frowned and told me to go outside and stop scaring the children. Outside the neighbors kids quickly spied me and had a similar reaction, “Mummy! There’s a very large ugly hairy man next door, shall we call the police?”

The next day I felt slightly sick, but I was determined to inject some joy and spread some much-needed laughter around the office. You really have no idea how hot it can get in a full latex lined gorilla suit.

I approached the main glass door to our office – I could see some very concerned people inside. They were not smiling. I ‘gorillaed’ past them, grunted at them and went to my office. At least no-one would recognise me as it was a very convincing costume. At the time I shared an office with two of my colleagues. I walked in, grunted at them and threw a banana at each of them. Without looking up and at the same time the said, “Oh Hi David, you’re a bit late this morning!”. How could they possibly know it was me?

For the rest of the day I leapt around the office, burst into meetings and hugged Executives, hung (literally) out in the café and generally made a monkey of myself. I even sat outside with the smokers and smoked a cigarette and just about caught on fire! It was one of the best days I had ever had in the office. It lifted people’s spirits and spread some much-needed joy around. People were talking about it for weeks. Most of them were convinced it was one of the other senior managers who was the gorilla. Of course he denied it, but no-one believed him. I got a lot of milage out of that.

Jesus wants us to have joy, his joy. He wants to fill our hearts to the brim with laughter and have a heart full of joy. This is easy when things are going well, when things are going our way. Jesus also wants us to have joy in our suffering. It’s more of the upside-down inside-out kingdom thinking. It makes so much sense but as the same time it doesn’t. This paradox of joy is possible.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  ~ James 1:1-3

Jesus eclipses out afflictions by his beauty, by his glory – his joy. That is why we  should consider it pure joy when we are in the midst of something tough. Easy to say, hard to do? I’ve been working on this myself lately – it’s really all about attitude and about choice. It’s about choosing life. It’s about choosing to be joyful. It’s all about the heart.

What will you do this week? How will you spread his joy? Here or somewhere be real and share, it will help someone find the joy of the Lord.

Here’s some more thoughts on this:

Pure Joy

Like a fire in the wind
Your joy consumes my heart
In my heart you exchange
My afflications with glory

Like a storm rushing in
Your love reigns
In my mind you transform
My afflications to glory

Like a walk in the rain
Your peace fills my soul
In my soul you trade
My afflications for glory

Then as the rains stops
Here in my quiet heart
I realise you’ve eclipsed
My afflication with beauty

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