June is a month for celebration! There are graduations, weddings, and anniversaries. It can be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate loved ones or create a whirlwind of activity leaving us burdened with feelings of obligation. In today’s rushed culture, how do we make the precious, fleeting moments matter?
As the invitations arrive and the calendar fills up, there are arrangements to be made and gifts to be purchased. In the rush of things, often we are satisfied to just show up at the event! Carl Jung said, “Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil.” His words are played out as I see too many people living in a hurried society. It breaks my heart, especially for the children, when I see parents rushing their kids off to one more sporting event or recital or birthday party. Have our lives become a blur? Will you take this time of June celebrations to reaffirm how your family’s lives matter, souls matter, and celebrations matter? Other than snapping pictures with your smart phone, with a little forethought, you can make these moments special and memorable. It takes being intentional.
Don’t just give your gifts—give yourself. Sometimes we lose the concept of celebration and replace it with an expectation of being entertained. Celebration is active engagement while entertainment is passive. Instead of thinking about how this event will benefit you, think about what you have to offer: an uplifting comment, appreciative thanks, or a helpful hand. Thinking ahead about the people who will be there gives you an opportunity to plan ahead and implement some of the following ideas.
Be intentional what you celebrate
Don’t just celebrate the event but celebrate the person(s). While congratulations are in order, specifically identify positive characteristics that have brought them to this milestone. Be sure to recognize others who have influenced and supported them—parents, teachers, mentors, and friends. Do it publicly if you can!
Be intentional how you celebrate
Don’t just be conversant but think about how you can use the opportunity to make a lasting memory. You can ask family heritage questions, fill in the blanks of the family tree, interview older family members and record their stories. Think ahead what you will need to make a permanent record of the event for future generations. Perhaps you might encourage some family members to stay an extra day for just such a purpose.
My all-time favorite memory is of my high school graduation. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins came over to our house and we watched family movies of the past 18 years. That was meaningful and fun!
Be intentional why you celebrate
Scripture is packed with records of the times when God calls for a celebration. It often involved recounting the history of his people and affirming what was important in the midst of the pressures of the culture of the time. In today’s hurried culture, it is vital to occasionally stop doing the ordinary and take time to affirm what’s special. It is not an extravagance, it is a necessity! Celebration is a time of remembrance, thankfulness for provision, and affirming family solidarity. It powerfully communicates what and whom we value.
How will you approach the events you’ve been invited to this season? Will you affirm what matters most and intentionally engage? Do so, and I know your celebrating will be rewarding. Enjoy!
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