Lilies bloomed that morning - fragrant and fantastic.
Raspberries were glistening in the sun.
Mid-summer bounty was bursting forth.
The earth was showing off – so it seemed –
and it just happened to be our anniversary.
Interestingly, my husband informed everyone we encountered that it was our anniversary. I felt a tinge of self-consciousness, but he, obviously loved telling people. He’s normally a pretty quiet guy so it made me wonder why I was not as equally excited to share the news. Certainly I’m proud that we have been married 32 years, so why hold back? Is it that I think I should be on a sunny island somewhere? Is it that I think others should make the offer of congratulations rather than me make an awkward announcement?
Why did my enthusiasm not mirror his?
Whatever was getting in the way, I realized that I am missing the point.
Celebration lifts the spirit.
Celebration is for sharing.
Celebration is commanded, did you know, in the scriptures.
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalm 118:24
AND be glad.
It seems I’m not the only one who needs to be reminded… more than once.
Reverend Bruce Goettsche speaks of learning to rejoice as Paul tells us to do in Phillipians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”
The Rev says, “We often miss out on joy because we try to create it ourselves. When we try to ‘produce’ joy we are working against joy. You see when we look to our activities and our devices to bring us joy we are NOT looking at the Lord. When we are relying on external things we are distracted from the internal work of God's Spirit. The harder we work to find joy, the further we drift from the Lord and that joy we are looking for.
It's like a person who is drowning. They need to trust the lifeguard who comes to save them. The more they struggle to "save themselves" the more difficult it is for them to be saved… So it is with joy. Our instinct is to try to DO things to produce joy. We can't produce joy by our choruses, music, methods, campfires, meditation or anything else. The harder we try to create joy the more elusive it becomes. Joy comes from resting not running. It comes from trusting not working.”
I saw immediately that my focus was on the trying and not the trusting. Remember that Rolling Stones song? Though I try and I try and I try and I try… I can’t get no… no satisfaction.
And then I thought of those big, ripe raspberries whose fate was certainly to be eaten by deer and birds (and a few by me). I thought of their plump, sun-filled, juicy chambers. Could I, too, celebrate the day? In my own case, it would mean not looking toward tomorrow or getting stuck in yesteryear. I love the way The Message Bible puts that same verse from Psalm 118:
"This is the very day God acted—
let’s celebrate and be festive!"
And so I ask you, are you celebrating today? Whether is a special day, or just another day, today is the day to have some satisfaction.