In “Celebration of Discipline,” Richard Foster points out that Jesus was all about joy. From the beginning … “I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10). To the end … “These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you.” (John 15:11).
I went back to his book after I heard Foster on the Renovare podcast, hosted by his son Nathan Foster, talk about the discipline of celebration as an antidote to worry. Because celebration comes from a release of any anxiety, intentionally celebrating can fight off worry.
As we enter the seventh month of the pandemic, worry grows. Lost jobs. Health fears. Kids schooling at home. Isolation from friends and loved ones. When will it end?
Although Foster’s podcast was recorded well before the pandemic, I think his idea of focusing on celebration is sound. After all, as David wrote, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
One way to increase your joy is to pray for it. Specifically, I pray on Monday for the Holy Spirit to give me the fruit of joy. It’s part of the GIFT list mindfulness practice.
Other ways to add celebration to our lives include:
- Play and sing praise songs. Many feel sad, missing the music in church. Break through by adding praise music to your daily prayer routine.
- Celebrate everything. Dozens of fun days are on the calendar. Make the most of them. Enjoy the coming autumn with caramel apples, pumpkins, apple cider, etc.
- See the Lord in the nature around you. Did you know that the reds, yellows and oranges of autumn tree leaves are their actual colors without chlorophyll? Only our ultimate Creative Director could think of that.
- If you haven’t laughed hard at least once by 7 p.m., watch or read something funny.