My son Danny is nine. I coach his little league team. Last night Danny got up to bat three times. He hit a single, triple and grand slam home run. I think he would have made it all the way around even if they hadn’t overthrown third so I say it was a grand slam. On defense he played short and he is the best we’ve got. In one inning he made all the putouts. In all there were fifteen outs and Daniel was in on seven of them and the other eight were strikeouts.
At bat he was wailing on the ball. So he smiled a lot at the game and at home he wanted to talk about it a lot. I noticed that if the conversation drifted a little, he would reintroduce the subject. You could tell he just craved a celebration of his success and he just didn’t want the day to end. We went to the grocery for a couple of boxes of frozen treats and had a big party over it. He went to sleep with those two little dimples on his face that show up when he smiles.
Last week I had a reason to celebrate myself. I have been paid for writing before but last week I was surprised to find an envelope from a major Christian publisher in my box. They had bought a story and sent a nice check. I stared at it in happiness for a few minutes, then I went out in the yard under a tree and had my wife take a bunch of pictures of me with it.
The family all celebrated my success and my unexpected windfall. It was the second such check within ten days of each other and just as I was praying for a specific need. Like I said, it was a happy day.
I drove to the Wyse Office Supply where my oldest son works and celebrated with him. After that I wanted to celebrate some more but I couldn’t think who would really be happy with me… just then Rich Wheater came to my mind. I went to his office and showed him my check and he celebrated with me. He looked like he might hint that maybe we should celebrate over a steak dinner… what with my windfall and all and him being the editor of the local paper that carries my column. (I wasn’t sure I wanted to celebrate that much).
The whole thing activated my sage wisdom mood. I got to thinking about two habits that make you the kind of guy people always want to be around.
Are you ready? Here they come. People always want to be around people who know how to celebrate and people always want to be around sympathetic people. In other words people love to be around a guy who will celebrate their successes with them and mourn their losses with them. I came up with that idea on my own. Learn to celebrate with people and learn to hurt with people and they will love you and want to be around you. For an original idea I think that is pretty profound.
When I come up with ideas like that on my own I’m proud of myself and I want to tell people. Just before I did, it occurred to me that there is a verse in the Bible that says something similar. I looked it up and when I read it I realized again that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Here is what it says’ “rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep.” I guess that is a lot like celebrate and mourn isn’t it?
Then when life gets hard and people don’t think they can go on they will come and you can help them take the next step. And when good things happen to people you will be one of the first ones they think of calling because. You get in on a lot of happy parties that way.
Andy is a young man in my church. I was privileged to recommend him for a lifeguard gig at one of the summer camps I speak for. When he got the job he made a special trip to my office to tell me. I was honored again to be considered someone he could trust to celebrate with him. Later his mother told me all the people that he told when he got the job. He is a young man and already rich with valuable friends. People who are eager to celebrate his victories. I pray they will be many and that I will always be on his party committee.
(From Stonebridge Newsletter – Number 41)