Celebration Time

celebrationI don’t think we celebrate enough. I mean, I know that every time there’s a holiday or special occasion, we tend to party it up, but I think we close down the festivities all too soon. Not only that, but I think we sometimes celebrate the wrong things. We can easily impersonalize any situation, taking away the real meaning in the celebration.

It’s interesting to read the Old Testament and realize how long certain things would last. Feasts and festivals would sometimes last for a week. Forget about the 24 hour party, we’re talking a full week here. I often wonder what that would look like for us, here in the 21st century. Are we capable of stopping and slowing down for long enough to be able to party for THAT long? Would we be able to step away from our phones, our laptops, our tablets, our TVs for that long without getting bored, without getting completely nuts over our utter “lack of information” for a full week?

Lately, I’ve really been focusing on embracing moments which need to be celebrated. In those moments, it’s really easy for others to come in and steal your joy. People can easily push you out of those places of celebration. Maybe it’s because they’re jealous, maybe it’s because they’re impatient, maybe it’s because they’re just not happy. Regardless of the “why” of it, it’s important not to lose your joy in those moments.

A friend of mine had a birthday the other day and we spent some time talking and shooting pool. It reminded me of how simple celebrations can go a long way. We don’t need all kinds of fanfare and decor in order to celebrate, we can do it in simplicity, but do we really do it? Do we stop long enough to enjoy the moments of celebration?

I’m growing tired of focusing on all of the things that are not so easily changed. There’s a place for that in our lives, to improve our areas of growth, but how about celebrating our strengths and celebrating the victories and milestones that we achieve……for more than a minute? Imagine what that would look like if we actually focused on the positives more than the negatives. Imagine how different we would be as people. Imagine how much more pleasant we would be to be around.

I want to celebrate, and not just for one day. Next week, Christians will celebrate Easter, the day that Christ rose from the dead. If we can wade through the bunnies and baskets, eggs and candy, we might actually find Jesus in the midst of it all. We’ll take him out, sing some songs, and celebrate for just one day, and when it’s all over, will it have made a difference to us? How will Easter Sunday translate on the Monday after? Will we still be celebrating then?

If our celebrations don’t make a difference in who we are, what value did they hold? If they don’t afford us time to be reenergized or rejuvenated, if they don’t afford us some amount of meaning other than a few hours off, is it really worth celebrating?

Make your celebrations count. Remember why you’re celebrating whatever it is that you’re celebrating. Remember past the cakes and the parties, the gifts and the gatherings. Remember the joy that’s supposed to come from celebration, and let it last for more than just one day.

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