A collection of old and new thoughts on why I believe one of the most important things we can decide is to choose celebration.
// A phrase that became a tagline/hashtag in the summer between high school and college. “We’re choosing celebration, breaking into freedom, You’re the song, You’re the song in our hearts. We cast aside our shadows, trust You with our sorrows. The pain will not define us, joy will reignite us. The dark is just a canvas for Your grace and brightness. You’re the joy lighting my soul.” Joy by Rend Collective was the song that formed this anthem. In the midst of craziness and also the most mundane moments, it’s about choosing to celebrate the beauty of living.
I regularly fight against my tendencies to view the shadows, to tilt into the darkness once clouds pass over the sun. It’s easy to feel the highs and then get absorbed in the lows. Losing perspective happens in an instant. So I have to intentionally focus in on the good, to remind myself to see the joy in being alive, in getting to participate in the adventure of life, that He IS good all the time.
This is the art of celebration. A dark room made alive with bright, brilliant lights. The heavy weight and gravity shattered. Resounding with swelling song until the music transcends this time, this place, the space. Until everything is overwhelmed with the realization that you matter.
Sometimes your heart just needs to hear this, to let it echo and sink in. Like a movie scene, motion stops being so real, the noise less tangible; but the song in your own soul more clear. Confetti streaming down, floating like you’re on a cloud. Days have been tough: headaches, tears, shutdown-inducing, wearing you down. But this moment reminds you that you are loved beyond enough.
It was a sleepy, snow-in-April kind of Friday when this truth came through. Sinking in deeper than my tired body in these pews. Compelling movement. Compelling my heart to choose to celebrate because the One who designed this heart and these days is One who loves joy. Who treasures what is good. Who gives us purpose and hope, a reason to find the light hiding in the hardest or most ordinary of places.
That was then, and since that moment countless glimpses of the reason to celebrate have come. The choice still sits before me and you every single day. Will you realize that life is too short to waste living stuck on the could haves, the almosts, the imperfections? Will you decide to choose celebration?
Of course when you do, the moments that make you want to run hiding under the covers and to walk around with your head swirling in black color clouds don’t disappear. The reality is on the headlines and written inside our broken DNA – this life, this world is far from perfect. And you won’t aways FEEL like making everyday a celebration. But you were set free to dance with joy for all that grace has done for your soul. So we move beyond what we feel to the truth that we know, and we soak in it, we revel in this beautiful turn around. Joy comes from knowing the One who created our souls is writing our stories and it will all turn out in a beyond amazing ending.
This is the art of celebration.