My Problem with Celebration

The final steps in a 7-year journey are being taken right now to complete my double Masters at Dallas Seminary. (I don’t consider it fully-final until I’ve got those diplomas in my hand!) A few more phone calls and that should be that. I’ve mentioned previously that I’m still processing all of this and I will most likely continue to process it for much, much longer.

Actually, let me honest: I’m so busy that my so-called “processing” of this monumental event will take a far backseat behind many other things that need to be processed.

gpa

!!!

And that’s the problem, right? I almost never have time to celebrate much of anything because I’m on to the next thing the moment I’m done. In fact, most things typically have significant overlap so moving to the next thing is as natural as breathing.

But I’ve been told by more than a few people, including some of my most respected mentors, that I need to celebrate in some way because it is a really big deal, not just about what I’ve accomplished but what God has done and His original call on my life to go back to school.

I tried to calculate last night the overall “cost” of those 7 years, not just financially but from many different angles in terms of my resources. It became increasingly difficult and I eventually gave up, but the cost was considerable.

humility

Apparently you shouldn’t ask me about the History of Doctrine…

I leave DTS with a 3.79 GPA, which I’m very proud of. I have all A’s except 2 B’s and one D+ that a professor gave me to “keep me humble.” Honestly, I’ve never contested a grade so hard as that one since my track record obviously showed this very-out-of-character performance (apparently I forgot an entire assignment… right…). He didn’t budge. Sigh.

In any case, the point is that I need to celebrate, especially the people who sojourned with me and especially those who invested incredible amounts of time, resources, and wisdom into me as I made this trek. I’ve been directed by a few of my mentors to review models like Moses and Noah who after many incredible achievements choose to celebrate the work of others in his stead, especially the work accomplished by the Lord Himself rather than what they had accomplished (or simply survived through).

But those models are hard to follow, for a number of different reasons. So it leads me to ask “How shall I celebrate?” How do I go about doing that? I’m not one for celebration – a perfect example is my birthday which I haven’t celebrated since I was 11. It’s just not what I do. Some of it’s because I don’t like the attention but the other is because I simply don’t know how to do it well. Add the fact that I’m busy doing great work and it just never ends up happening at all.

So I’m collecting ideas and I’d love to hear from you. How do you celebrate significant moments in your life? Who do you choose to invite to those occasions? What does that look like?

I’m excited about this new season where graduate work is no longer a part of my everyday life. It is certain that I will at some point return to school for some Doctoral work but I’ll first take a long and much needed break. Perhaps that period of rest is celebration enough.