Daily Thoughts, November 15, 2004
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It is easy to get caught up in life.  Deadlines to meet require every ounce of our focus and energy.  Worries, disciplines, goals, desires, and decisions all take their toll in different ways.  It is almost too easy to be consumed with serious thought and purpose.  One wonders if life only has this to offer, at least for the individual focused on the bigger picture.  Could celebrating be something reserved for sinners and royalty?
Clearly there are those who believe life is a serious matter.  It is as if human beings are an intrusion to be tolerated but never exploited.  I am not about to entertain the idea that celebration and serious thought cannot exist within the same space.  I know that some, especially the young, believe it is impossible to do both.  But, is this view really true?
As I read the Christian story of Jesus life there is an interesting line giving us the answer to the paradox.  The writer notes simply that “They were celebrating Hanukkah just then in Jerusalem.  It was winter.”  (John 10.22)
I strongly encourage every one of us, myself included, to accept this statement exactly for what it states.  In the middle of an important life mission, Jesus celebrated.  In the process of spending time with their master and mentor, disciples celebrated.  In the midst of a struggle against Roman oppression, the Jewish nation celebrated!  If they can do it in the mist of mission, purpose, and civil rebellion, why are we waiting?
Life is meant for living!  Life has purpose and intent, crying and laughter, moments of reflection, and celebration.  Everything fits within a circle that brings meaning and purpose to our values, priorities, and choices.  We are designed to be in relationships.  Relationships are never one sided, there is more than serious study, conversation, and action.  It is a fact that frowning takes more muscle, energy, and attention than smiling yet smiles are often a rare commodity.  Today can be different.  I am going to make it that way.  I would love for you to join me.

November 14, 2004
November 16, 2004