Archive for April, 2017

Celebration

April 25, 2017

I wanted to jot down some thoughts on Easter – Resurrection Sunday. I realize I am more than a bit late to the game, but whatever, I’m going do it anyway. Lately I have felt in a slump. Not overly sad, but not really feeling happy either – just bland. You know, like I was eating turkey bacon after having had a taste of the real deal.

 

But some amazing things happened over Lent. Two of my closest friends welcomed new additions to their households on the same day – two new boys: one through adoption and the other through birth. And though they had nothing directly to do with me or my family, I had an invitation. The invitation to celebrate these amazing and beautiful and life-affirming events. So I had a choice. I could enter into these events fully and celebrate them. Or I could watch from the sidelines and be happy for these friends without pulling near to them. You guys, it’s the equivalent to going to a party and standing around or going to a party and engaging and dancing and laughing the night away.

 

Because I have a small issue with celebrations. I JUST realized this about myself this year after going through the enneagram (which I highly recommend and will probably write more about later). The key speaker at the event I attended encouraged 4s (the “type” I am) to practice celebrating. Which, at first, seems ridiculous. Of course I like to celebrate! I celebrate ALL the time. Or maybe really only when I feel like it and maybe only with the people I let in and, ok, well, maybe I don’t celebrate well or often. Huh.

 

So as I was over here during Lent feeling bland and gray and boring and like I had nothing to offer, I had a choice. I could text my friends once and say congrats and drop off a meal. Duty/celebration, check! Or I could set up a time to stop by. To hold these new boys in my arms. To fully listen to the amazing stories about how they came to be in our lives. To kiss a soft newborns head. To roll a water bottle back and forth and back and forth with a sweet boy who, even though we can’t speak the same language, told me with his smiles and waves that he was glad I was there.

 

There right in front of me were two new lives. One brand new and one life that had been so altered and so changed by the events of the last month. New life. Springing right up in front of me in my small neck of the woods. Which brings me back to Easter.

 

Sometimes I don’t feel like celebrating. And I let my feelings dictate my mood and my actions and my level of engagement. Easter was the day after a 16+ hour card ride home from spring break (hallelujah for sun and warmth, boo for it being so far away). And I really just wanted to not go to church. To not pack up the kids and find something cute for them to wear. To not sing the songs and hear the text. But we went. Because my husband, for all the crazy he brings to my life, knows about my need to celebrate. Knew about this need way before I could properly even articulate it.

 

And so we went. And it was packed. And we sat in the back in not our usual spots. And I took so few notes because of the kids. And I can’t even really tell you what the sermon hinged on this year. But I do know this. At the end we sang the same song we ALWAYS sing on Easter. A version of Woody Guthrie’s Jesus. I love this song and had somehow forgotten that we always sing it on Easter. And as the words rolled over me I was just so glad for that moment. For all the singing around me. For all of the noise and chaos. For the witness of other people singing and laughing and dancing to the music. And as the last verse started, I pulled my antsy girls into the aisle and we danced and twirled and laughed and celebrated.

 

They laid him in the grave
But only for three days
Death couldn’t hold him down
The Father’s love and grace
They are mighty to save
Jesus Christ he rose from the grave

 

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift. Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, The Message

 

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