I’ve seen some drastic changes in industries over my lifetime. Blockbuster “done-busted” and no longer can be found on any block. Considering competitive forces, I get that. The music industry will never be the same. Considering the digital age, I get that. The coal industry has been hit hard. Considering recent governmental regulation, I get that.
However, there’s one industry that’s seen some change that we cannot afford to ignore: The clown industry. I realize that the news I’m about to break could shatter lives, so hold onto your suspenders, but according to TIME magazine, “The United States is running out of clowns and it’s no laughing matter,” because, “There’s a lot of clowns coming out of China who will work for really cheap.” That’s a quote.
Where do I start?
I was caught so emotionally unaware by this news that it’s hard to think clearly about a countermeasure. Maybe we need free college education for clowning, but only if they take it seriously. Maybe we should build a wall, between us and, you know… China. If we could only get our politicians to talk about the real issues facing our country!
There are a few things I think the clown industry should note. First, parents spend 18 years trying to get their children to quit acting like clowns. Second, industry professionals need to sue Stephen King for damages. He’s the reason an entire generation has coulrophobia. Third, the upward movement in the clown industry doesn’t feel much like a promotion.
The way I see it, clowns starts their careers at birthday parties, which could be nice. Then they move to fairs, which could be fun. Then they move to the circus, which could be exciting, but how many clowns “end” their careers at the rodeo?
One man named JJ Harrison actually started his career as a teacher, that’s right, a job with a pension, and then left it to become a rodeo clown. If the becoming a rodeo clown sounds crazy then this will really get you. Philippians 1:21, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Paul was stating that if he continued living on earth, as Jesus did, his life would be amazingly purpose-filled and fruitful. However, if his life was taken from him, he will be able to go and be with Jesus in heaven, which he called “better by far” than living. He concluded that for the sake of others he must live as long as he was able, but awaited death with hopeful anticipation.
At first glance, this doesn’t sound like upward movement. It sounds like painting your face red and running with the bulls for the sake of everyone but yourself. Let me ask you though, what if it’s worth it? Is it possible that “living as Christ” for the sake of others can transform a life into something so fruitful and so amazing that a person could actually look forward to death?
If it is possible, that kind of life would be worth exploring. Who knows, you might find yourself getting ready for the rodeo, with a very real smile- one that doesn’t need to be painted on.
Pastor Travis Montgomery