FMF celebrate

Congratulations! We should celebrate…

Too often, this line is followed up by a lag or an awkward silence. If it’s indeed something worth noting and celebrating, then the next part of the conversation should include a date with concrete plans to actually celebrate.

I’m guilty of this. I’ve heard someone’s good news and felt that a celebration was warranted…but there are times when it doesn’t happen. And when you finally get around to it, a period of time has elapsed where it would seem kinda sorta strange to be celebrating the event so late. So then it never gets done.

The parable of the lost son tells of a father and his two sons. The youngest has decided that it’s time to go and do his own thing and asks to cash out his inheritance, while his father was still alive. He leave the older brother at home and goes out and squanders his time, talents and money. He’s gone from living carefree to living careless to wondering if his father could still possibly care for him. He takes a risk and decides to return home and beg his dad for a lowly servant’s position. Instead, his dad welcomed him with open arms and an immediate celebration. There are three points that stand out from this story:

The magnitude of the accomplishment is diminished somewhat when we fail to celebrate it immediately. There is a sense of euphoria and excitement that is felt in the moment. You’re jumping for joy in the present, trying desperately not to shout your good news from all the rooftops across the globe. This is energy that cannot be bottled and shelved for later. It needs to be lived out now (or as close as possible to now), rather than much later.

Celebrations don’t always need to be ginourmous, meticulously-planned events. If this is your gift—by all means, go ahead. Some of us are quite gifted in throwing Pinterest-worthy festivities to mark all types of milestones. But when your focus shifts to how you’re going to celebrate instead of why you’re celebrating, it can get stressful and unnerving. The father in the story didn’t take time to extend engraved invitations to his friends and business partners. He grabbed his servants and pulled them all in for the party. There was no forethought.

Not everyone around you will be happy for you or with you. The father was beyond thrilled to see his baby come home. The servants were excited to party, maybe because they were happy to see their master happy. But the oldest son—he was furious at his brother’s return. He didn’t even go into the house to see his brother, he was so upset. The reason for celebrating baffled him. Never had a celebration like this been thrown for him. In that moment, it was all about him.

How do you celebrate with others? How do you celebrate your own accomplishments?


{Linking with Kate and the five minute Friday community.}