I was thinking this morning about encouragement. It sounds like it would be really cool to have a gift of encouragement. But sometimes it is just tiring.
When people find out I live in Orange County, Southern California, they usually ask me how far it is to Disneyland. Everyone has heard of Disneyland. People like to go to Disneyland. I really don’t like Disneyland. Most people wonder why because it is “the happiest place on earth”. But for me, it really isn’t.
For the general population, most people are busy with work or their lives and are concentrating on what they need to do next. At this point, they are not dealing with strong emotions or problems they have in their life. At the grocery store or work or places where people usually gather, most people are so busy concentrating on their business they just aren’t thinking about what they can do about their problems. But at Disneyland, the “happiest place on earth”, people are compelled to be happy and have fun.
Concentrating on being happy usually brings everything to the front of their minds that isn’t happy. Their smiles are forced, their laughter is brittle and their conversations are stilted. Some people are there to have fun and they do. They are easy to be around. But most of the people there see other people having fun and wonder why they aren’t happy. It brings up all kinds of things. It brings up hurt, sadness, and depression. They need God but they are at Disneyland. They need counseling, but they are at Disneyland. For me it is very depressing to feel their feelings.
A more relaxing place for me has always been my own backyard. This is good for me because there really aren’t a lot of people in my backyard. Another place that is good for me is a cemetery. Most people are horrified with that. They think cemeteries are sad places, creepy places, not places of peace.
But primarily people don’t hang out at cemeteries for more time than they have to. The dead people buried there aren’t still there. It is just their “dust” that remains. You aren’t expected to laugh, smile and joke at a cemetery. It is actually considered impolite to do so. So, yes, it is a place of peace and relaxation for me.
A cemetery is a good place to reflect and to pray. It is a place of finality. It is a place where people are faced with their own mortality and God. It is a place of reality. It is the barest kind of reality. It is just you and God.
And then I thought. Yep. I’m weird.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a funeral than to a party. We all must die, and everyone living should think about this.