When presented with a conclusion to an epic experience, the only possible way to finish well is to party.

True celebration is a gift. It’s an opportunity to become excited with those who are filled with hope and anticipation. It’s also the chance to empathize with those who’re disappointed and hesitant of next steps. We honor the truth of life in others–both sides of celebration.

Our last times with our group, brought together from all over the world for this year of development, was filled with of hopeful possibilities and the disappointment of unmet expectations. There was sharing that revealed heart reflections and needs. Tears and laughter. A vulnerability that the world doesn’t often experience because not everyone we encounter on our journey is safe.

After the tears was the real party. The fun and funky, let’s-get-crazy-and-dance party. Dress-glam-or-geeky party. Where bustin’ a move was better than bustin’ into tears.

Memories were made as pictures were taken and hugs exchanged. Reminders of laughter shared and mutual grief experienced.

The big takeaway for me, as I listened to stories told of the year was how this group used the time and opportunities given them. The choices they made in living this season.

It’s unique to be able to live in close proximity to co-workers. To have consistent times together in discussion and play. That’s been the experience of these folks for ten months. And they’ve not misused the gift of time and space.

If I look at my circumstances and options, I don’t always see the gift of time. I can whine about not having enough time to do all I want. My busyness is my choice. I can whine about not having the things that would make my life easier, more comfortable. How I use my belongings, how I spend my money, is my choice.

My choices take into account my values. What matters most to me reflects my heart.

So I ask myself–not often enough–what I’m doing with what I’ve been given? With my own time and treasures. What am I investing in? Who am I investing in?

When Jesus walked the earth, he chose to invest in twelve men, men who didn’t have the best reputations or credentials. Some were common fishermen, used to hard work and not a lot of respect from others. One was a tax collector, shunned by most of his people because of his penchant for taking extra for himself. One betrayed Him three times, after another betrayed Him to those who’d kill Him.

I may not think much of what I have and what I do, but I’ve been given a chance to live my life in a way that matters. I can make a difference by using what I’ve been given by a gracious and mighty God.

We might not appreciate our life stories, but we’ve co-written them with the God of the universe. We all have value. Not because of what we’ve been given. But because of what we do with it for the glory of God.

What will you do? Celebrate every day? Or complain of what’s hard?

Our choice.

 

 

 

 

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