Five Minute Friday: Celebrate

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Enjoyed an evening out, so no chat for me.

Linking up with Kate and the crowd. We: celebrate.

Go. 

We don’t party enough.

I can see your faces now. The horror. I can hear the gasps. “Oh, no! She’s descending into a pit of licentiousness! Close the laptop! Close the laptop!” Much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth.

Settle, settle.

We don’t party enough. We don’t celebrate enough. We don’t enjoy enough.

Tonight I had dinner with a friend. In the midst of our conversation, I had a moment. I didn’t let her in on this moment, lest she think I was completely crazy. Our environment came into sharper focus. Peachy-colored paint. Mismatched flatware. The shifting, scittering light of dusk. The tingle of a bell. Smells of pepper and sour cream and guacamole. The startling touch of ice on my lips.

I thought, “This is it.”

In the middle of an ordinary Mexican restaurant on an ordinary Thursday evening. Strangers to the right and strangers to the left. Servers and water pitcher girls and busboys. Shredded chicken. Tortillas.

This is worth noticing, worth savoring.

Worth celebrating.

So much, we take for granted. The person will always be there. The thing will always happen. The routine will never change.

Until the person is gone and the thing stops and the routine is blown to bits.

When used as a verb (with an object), celebrate is defined as “observ[ing] (a day) or commemorat[ing] (an event) with ceremonies or festivities; to make known publicly; proclaim.” And yet celebration need not be a ticker-tape parade or a grand bash. Stripped to its essence, to celebrate is to say, “I notice this. I remember that. I cherish you. I love you.”

It is to step outside of the mundane, even if just for a few seconds. It is to set aside the stressful. It is to choose to see the special. The blessings. The holy.

And we don’t do it enough.

Hug your friends. Kiss your spouse. Pet your dog (or, if you must, your cat). Eat a second piece of cake. Breathe in the chill of the night air. Marvel at the sunset. Turn a simple supper into a feast with fancy glasses filled with clinking, glittering ice. Turn off your phone. And your tablet. And your computer. And the television. And the radio. Sigh and smile.

Notice. Remember.

Celebrate.

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)

31 Days with the Savior: Party

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Gentle Reader,

“Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, ‘Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.’ And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!’

This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. … The disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?’

And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?'” – John 2:6-11, Matthew 9:14-15a (NKJV)

Usually we focus on the miracle of the water being turned into wine. There’s nothing wrong with that; this was the first miracle that Jesus performed during his earthly ministry and it’s significant. But look at the context.

Jesus is at a wedding reception.

Jesus is at a party.

This wouldn’t be the last party he attended, either. He’d go wherever He was invited, attending everything from great feasts to intimate suppers with close friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. You don’t get invited to parties if you’re not fun to be around. And a lot of people had issues with that. Issues with Jesus enjoying Himself. I think we do, too. Somehow we’ve got this idea that the Savior is supposed to be this grand, intense, dour figure. Surely He never smiles. Surely He never tells a joke. Surely He doesn’t appreciate good food, good drink and good music.

If that’s your line of thinking, I invite you to spend some time considering the Scriptures above. Also, google a picture of the duck-billed platypus.

If the duck-billed platypus doesn’t convince you that the Lord has a sense of humor, that He’s fun to be around, you’re taking life way too seriously.

My journey to faith. (15)

For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.