Most mornings when my 2 year old son Jonty gets up we have a conversation that goes a little something like this…
Jonty: What’s the plan today Mummy? (Aaah, a boy after my own heart. Just like me, he loves to have a plan!)
Me: *Tells plan – usually something like off to a group, home for lunch and quiet play then out again in the afternoon*
Me: Why? What would you really like to do today?
Jonty: *Pauses for effect* Well Mummy, I would really like to go to a party!
Every time! He always asks to go to a party.
Sometimes I say he is in luck as we have been invited to a party that day. But most of the time I explain that we can’t go to a party whenever we want to, we have to wait to be invited.
Jonty loves parties so much that I have renamed Joel’s day off. It is now called “Family Party Day” and by definition involves doing something fun together as a family. I figure that this way at least I can tell Jonty whenever he tells me that what he really wants to do is go to a party that Family Party Day is just around the corner!
Yesterday we were making pictures out of stickers together. We had a big sticker book of 1000 random stickers. Jonty carefully went through the book and picked out all the stickers that could make a party… Presents, sweets, balloons and happy faces. As he was doing it he sighed and said, “I just love balloons Mummy”.
I have been thinking about why he loves parties so much. It certainly isn’t about the cake. In fact he takes great delight in announcing to the party boy/girl’s parent at each party we go to that he doesn’t like cake, much to my embarrassment! I have been trying to explain to his that he doesn’t need to make that announcement every time, but he can just politely decline the cake, but he hasn’t quite grasped this yet!
Perhaps his love for parties is down to the unlimited sweets and consequent sugar high, perhaps it is the games (pass the parcel remains his absolute favourite), perhaps it is the balloons, perhaps all his friends coming together for a lovely time, perhaps the party bag, perhaps it is all of those things.
But maybe it is more than that. Maybe he loves parties because he was created in God’s image and God loves to celebrate too! Maybe, in his two year old delight in parties he is unknowingly mirroring an aspect of the character of God.
I think often we can just think of God as being sad or angry all the time but that is not the picture that the a Bible paints of him at all. The Bible is full of stories of God celebrating. He celebrates when we come back to him (Luke 15). He loves us so much and celebrates over us. Zephaniah 3:17 says:
The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.
Is is a beautiful image of God just celebrating just because of who we are.
I think there is much to learn from Jonty’s unwavering commitment to parties and celebration as well as from God’s celebrations…
I don’t want to have to wait to be invited to a party to celebrate. I choose celebration and thanksgiving. I want to have such an unwavering commitment to celebration and thanksgiving that I choose to recognise the blessings in each day, even in days that are hard. I want to wake up each day and know that as I consciously choose celebration and thanksgiving, even in hard times, that there will be a little bit of party in that day!
I hope that today, you too find something to celebrate!