Celebration – the most important benefit

By Dave Henning / October 28, 2021

“Far and away the most important benefit of celebration is that is saves us from taking ourselves too seriously.  That is a desperately needed grace for all those who are earnest about the Spiritual Disciplines.  It is an occupational hazard of devout folks to become stuffy bores.  That should not be.  Of all people, we should be the most free, alive, interesting.”- Richard J Foster, Celebration of Discipline

In Chapter 19 (“A Time to Dream”) of Growing Slow, Jennifer Dukes Lee underscore the importance of celebration, laughter, and the value of play.  Even as adults.  In addition, we rarely make the effort to celebrate accomplishments, big or small.  And when, Jennifer wonders, do we ever celebrate the joy of life?

Above all, the author observes, hurry wounds the happy heart of celebrating.  Perhaps, then the winter seasons of life serve a hidden purpose.  Thus, Jennifer weighs in on the value of winter:

“Without winter, we might never take time to see the value of what we’ve already harvested.  We must change the way we view winter — not as a season to be rushed through, but as a season to be savored.  Winter has long undergone a case of mistaken identity.  It is not merely a time to mourn, but a place to turn our mourning into dancing.”

The small Norwegian island of Tromso sits north of the Arctic Circle.  And the polar nights last from November to January.  However, the people of Tromso embrace these slow and dark as koselig – the Norwegian word for ‘cozy.’  Candles provide a warm glow to the town- they’re everywhere.  while life moves more slowly, residents actually find the polar nights more fun that the summer months!

In conclusion, Jennifer points out, we often celebrate in spring and summer.  Seasons when we may not need it the most. Perhaps we need to celebrate most  in unexpected winters.

Today’s question: What do you see as the most important benefit of celebration?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A deep well of joy and gratitude”

Coming Monday: the annotated bibliography of Growing Slow

About the author

Dave Henning

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