As we enter 2019, where are you mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Are you optimistic about a new year, or plagued by issues of your recent past that maybe didn’t quite work out. Let’s be honest for a second, 2018 was a rough year for many people. I think about how many people i know that struggled with what i call the 3 D’s: debt, death, and disease. I won’t get into my own situations, but let’s just say 2018 was a year of struggle and growth for me personally.
Now, take a minute to reflect back in your mind. Close your eyes. Remember a time of the simple celebration of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! I remember 1987, i was 4 years old. My pops use to throw these house parties with the best food. I was the youngest of 8 children, but i remember the fun we had celebrating New Years Eve! My dad had the vintage big tall wooden sub-woofers with the tunes of Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Joy and Pain”. Oh when that baseline came on, the floor shook! Picture us with afro’s, half fro’s, and Jerri-curls! For my coming to America fans oh yes, we indeed let our “Soul-Glo”.
We didn’t have much money growing up in the hood of East Winston, but we would celebrate like we did. Yeah there was some smoke in the air at times. I said that was just a machine. I saw a bottle or two that look like root beer but was missing the word “root”. As we would get down all night dancing like the Jackson-8, my mom would let the smaller children hook up the Nintendo and we would play Super Mario Bro’s, Duck Hunt, Megaman, Contra and the other classics. I’m talking 8-bit and pixels!
Anyone from my generation knows what i am talking about, and don’t even start on that Tecmo Bowl! It was always Joe Montana and the 49ers vs Bo Jackson and the Raiders. Anyone else remember how Bo Jackson use to just have people bounce off his back on that game? It wasn’t even fair!
It’s hard to believe that was 32 years ago. It still feels like yesterday to me. To our youth, y’all wouldn’t believe how much of us we see in y’all as you grow. I love the excitement that you bring. Don’t get me wrong i love my old school music, but if you catch me on the right day, i might be listening to some Lecrae, Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole, I’m just saying. 🙂
I told this story because celebration is about much more than a party. For the Christian, celebration is the younger sibling of worship and praise. It is a direct response, not necessarily to a situation or circumstance, but to gratitude for God giving us just one more day. Even for the non-Christian, celebration releases endorphins of euphoria as we enjoy those we love and cherish, even if they are no longer physically with us.
See i believe in having a great time? You know why? Because God put us here to have life, and have it more abundantly! Why would our loving God make us in His image, put us here on His earth, and give us His grace and favor, just for us to be miserable? Think about that. In 2019, take that trip (if you can afford it), do that activity, love harder!
Also think about this, people have been celebrating for centuries! In my mind, before the fall, I’d like to believe that Adam and Eve celebrated frequently in the Garden of Eden! All of that good food! Adam had his woman, they were naked and unashamed! Plus the animals were there chilling! Adam could get a tiger ride anytime he wanted one! In my mind, Eve was like “You haven’t lived until you have rode a rhinoceros!” All of that, and they had full access to God! Just because they fell, doesn’t mean God didn’t intend for them to have His best! He intends the same for us, so celebrate! 🙂
What am i saying? I’m saying in 2019, as you strive for your complex goals, don’t forget the simple celebrations of daily life from the routine and the mundane. In the bible Paul said “In all things i have learned to be content.” Contentment in 2019 doesn’t mean to stop striving, definitely not! It simply means to be thankful for what God has already done in the process as you strive. I’ll close this message with an original poem I wrote entitled “Reset”. I hope that you can hold on to these words for encouragement as we enter into what will be the glorious year of 2019.
“Reset, by Vintage Retroman”
To celebrate this life is to celebrate a treasure/ Because everyday’s a gift so strive to make each day better/ Choose to live your best life, choose to let go of the past/ God’s already in the future, and His plan is so vast/
For your life, and for mine and really all of us should/ Remember that He causes all things to work together for Good/ so celebrate, don’t hesitate because He loves you/ and meditate, on the fact that He put no one above you/
He knows your struggles, pain and all of the things you deal with/ He cares, He wants you to know that He is still with/ You as you journey for your greater purpose grinding/ It will be worth it as you crush it, in 2019! Happy New Year everyone!