The Celebration Obligation
One thing I do know is that God did not create us to be miserable. Even though we live on a physical earth that comes with many life challenges and unpleasant experiences, it is not God’s will that we live our lives in a state of dissatisfaction and pain. Just through casual conversation with others and reading various posts on Facebook, I realize that many people are in living in emotional-struggle mode. I feel a great deal for those people because I know, all too well, how emotional-struggle mode can drain you physically, mentally, and spiritually. The reason you are so drained is because your mind is in a, seemingly, ongoing wrestling match with negative thoughts. And a wrestling match that never stops will definitely zap your energy.
I used to watch wrestling every Thursday. It was entertaining to see the back and forth between the two fighters. The most interesting thing about wrestling was how one of the wrestlers would be getting beat up pretty bad and then suddenly out of nowhere, regain their strength to get up and fight their opponent. I always wondered how a person could continue to get pummeled with punches and DDT’s and body slams but get back up and still find a way to win the match. Then, I discovered that the matches were rigged. I read in an article on professional wrestling that reported the participants of the matches found out who would be the winners of the matches before they came out to fight. In essence, the guy who was supposed to win the match is the one who fought the hardest in front of the cameras. They brought out their best moves for the show that night because they already knew that they would win. It reminds me of how life is with God. We encounter battles, but we already know that we come out as the winners. God has already announced that the fight is yours. All you must do is show up for the battle and fight!
This is where the problem comes in for most of us. Either we don’t know how to fight, or we just don’t fight at all. First, let me start by saying that just because the fight is fixed does not mean you automatically win. It means that the win belongs to you if you fight. It means that the favor and grace that you need to win the fight will be granted unto you. However, you cannot win a fight in which you do not engage. Ephesian 6:12 says We wrestle against spiritual wickedness. There is a wrestling match. Rest ass
ured; we will lose it if we don’t fight. The good news is we will win it if we fight.
Fighting an enemy in high places takes consistency and skill. We have undefeatable weapons such as prayer, The Word, and praise. We have the best war partners in the Holy Spirit and angels. None of these things are helpful, though, if they are not used / used properly. Through the many people I encounter or see on social media, etc., I notice that everyone is fighting the wrong way or have, altogether, given in to defeat. And although I do not have time to write about the improper ways to fight this strong enemy, I will mention that complaining is unquestionably the wrong thing to do! I’ll say the topic of complaining for another post.
To write about all of these weapons is equivalent to me committing to writing an entire book, and I don’t have space or time in this small blog entry. However, I will share one of my life hacks that I have begun to use daily that helps me to stay in fight mode. It’s called Celebration Obligation. It’s when you are in a constant mode of celebration because you have chosen to focus on things to look forward to versus things that upset you. You see, it’s harder for negative thoughts that are pushed by the enemy to affect your mode and dominate your life if you practice living in a state of gratitude. With Celebration Obligation, I obligate myself to find something to look forward to every day. I write down what I am going to do the next day that I will look forward to, and I look at it first thing in the morning. The cool part about this is that it is usually something basic that I have always enjoyed, but that I never took time to appreciate. One of my favorite shows on television that airs on every Wednesdays is “Married at First Sight”. Whenever there is a new season, I wake up on Wednesdays knowing that I will get to watch a new episode later that night after returning home from work. I “obligate” myself to “celebrate” by fixing something special to eat and preparing a cozy place to eat and watch the show. I look forward to this all day long. I do this every day of the week, and when there is nothing obvious to celebrate, I create something. I think of the millions of things that bring me joy and make a long list so that I can have something to choose from on those days when I can’t come up with something to celebrate. Find ways throughout the day to celebrate. Celebrate your lunch by having some “me” time and listening to your favorite podcast. Celebrate your workout session at the gym by listening to your favorite playlist. I started this challenge at the beginning of this month and it has truly helped me to be more grateful throughout the day.
So now, instead of focusing on things that keep me grouchy, my mind is always channeled in on the good things that I can look forward to. It blew my mind when I came across this ideology in Ecclesiastes 9:8 that, in summary, basically says that you should seek to be happy in life while you have it. Seeking happiness means you may have to look for ways and reasons to celebrate. If you just take the time to look at your everyday life, you will find that there is usually always something to look forward to every day!