Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bucket List Practice # 2 - Celebrating

Throughout the month of January I am creating a Bucket List in which I will suggest one New Year’s Practice each day that will give you a taste of living an integrated life for 2011.  (By integrated, I mean one in which your faith, your character, your relationships, your responsibilities--all elements of your life--are in agreement.)  Each one is meant to be exercised in one day. Please feel free to share about your experience in the comments section below.  We will move through four different themes of living an integrated life.  The first week January we'll explore practices related to our relationship with God.

Front: celebrating a victory and popsicles after the game.
Rear: only popsicles. But even that's not so bad.
 Today's practice is celebration. Yes, we are bombarded in our society by negativity and trouble. Jesus even affirmed that to his followers, but he also told them, "Take heart, for I have overcome the world."  Celebration is based on victory. And the big picture of life, as Jesus says, is that there are winners on his team. But celebrating in life is easier said than done. As I have written elsewhere, a life of joy and celebration will not come to you. You must come to it. Richard Foster, in his Celebration of Discipline says,
The decision to set the mind on the higher things of life is an act of the will. That is why celebration is a discipline. It is not something that falls on our heads. It is the result of a consciously chosen way of thinking and living. When we choose this way, the healing and redemption in Christ will break into the inner  recesses of our lives and relationships, and the inevitable result will be joy.
So take a moment to reflect on the victories in your life and celebrate them (everybody has at least one victory if you're reading this today because you woke up and you're alive). But actually celebrate them. I mean, act as if your football team just scored a 50 yard touchdown to win the Super Bowl. Do something. Sing a song. Do a little dance. Share some good news with a friend. Let out a yelp for joy or clap your hands. It may feel silly, but let loose and do something tangible to practice celebration. It will be like a ray of sunshine bursting through the clouds of cynicism and depression around you.

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