Last night I celebrated a success in the life of a friend. The evening made me think about the act of celebrating which may seem easy but is actually quite complicated.
Celebrating brings success into the light of scrutiny. When celebrating I must pause to reflect on the process of success. I must acknowledge the moments I could have done better; the struggles; and the people who got me from beginning to end. It creates an opportunity to honor, apologize and grow.
Celebrating accomplishment may also be difficult for those who watched the success. It can be a struggle to stand beside someone as she rises from “the norm”. When one minute, you stand shoulder-to-shoulder, then circumstances drive one of you forward; or circumstances pulls one of you backward.
Personally, I struggle with the frivolity of celebrating a moment. To spend money and make an effort simply to bring attention to something I already know, am living, and working through.
Whatever our reasoning against celebration, we should not be deterred. Celebration should be a part of our lives. Each season of life slides into our present and slips away into a forgotten past. Each season is beautiful but outside of a few snapshots, there is rarely a beacon reminding us of our own history.
When weather changes come and go year after year, we have signs to look for. There are dates on the calendar indicating an end and a beginning. There are signs in the vegetation that trigger our memories of seasons past. The seasons of life are subtle, but perhaps if we take a moment to acknowledge a beginning and an end; perhaps if we learn to mark them on our calendars, on our hearts, or in a celebration, we would not be quite so fearful when we find ourselves starting again.
If we embrace the changes in our own life, then we are able, to truly celebrate the life of others. The beautiful, complete success in a sister’s life may overlap with the most difficult season of mine, but there should be nothing but joy in our celebration. Her success reminds me that my season will change. My cold winter will slowly melt into new green blades of grass pushing up through a frozen tundra. Then, before I know it, the fields of my life will also be vibrant.
All seasons work together and form the landscape of our life. If we embrace each season, we will find ourselves ready, at the beginning and at the end. My suggestion for us is: whatever season you find yourself, celebrate, for change is in the air.