How Serious should we be?

The advertisement to the left appeared on my facebook page this month.

Serious Pastors Only?

Because of my more relaxed approach to life and ministry, my tendency to laugh too much, an inclination toward celebration rather than melancholic introspection - I have a long history of being accused of not being serious enough.  Infact, at one parish, a woman looked at me and with a pointed finger said, "Your problem is that you aren't serious enough about the church."

I have to confess that she is probably right.

A long time ago, I learned the distinction between being 'serious' and being 'sincere'.  I do not take my faith seriously, but I am very sincere in my faith.  In my opinion, and I could be wrong, to be serious tends to suggest a rather rigid approach. A serious person is often labeled as up tight or even mean spirited. In contrast, being sincere connotates a genuineness and integrity about ones faith, perhaps even a flexibility.

Can we be sincere and still laugh?  Can we be sincere and still wonder, explore and probe the mysteries of faith? Can we be sincere and yet, not take ourselves too seriously?

Just a thought, or actually a question.