Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

July 28, 2013


Find ways to celebrate no matter what is happening


          One of my greatest blessings is that I am married to a woman never stops celebrating. In the worst of times Dean has always found something to celebrate. And this is not new behavior for her; it is a lifelong habit.

            When our kids were small Dean greeted a rainy day with a smile. Instead of complaining because the boys could not go outside to play, she got them excited about games they could play inside. Her contagious enthusiasm soon convinced the boys that a rainy day was a blessing.

            In one difficult season of our lives we struggled with multiple problems. No matter which way we turned we stepped in one pile of manure after another. One day she asked me, “Have you noticed how beautiful our roses are?”

            I could have cared less about the roses. I was up to my eyeballs in alligators, desperately trying to get out of the mess we were in.

            That’s when she said with a wry smile, “Those roses are thriving because of all the cow manure I packed around them. Manure helps roses to grow and we can let all the manure we are struggling with help us to grow too.”

            We started laughing and laughed until our faces were wet with tears. It was more than a teaching moment; it was a celebration that we have never forgotten. Since that day we have never allowed manure to overwhelm us. We simply looked for ways to use it.

            Dean’s philosophy is that we should celebrate what is. Never give all your attention to what is broken; look for what is not broken and celebrate it. While life can be terribly difficult, if we look hard enough we can usually find a reason for hope. That hope may be but a glimmer of light in the darkness but we can celebrate it and look expectantly for the dawn that will surely come.

            It is really a matter of attitude. While we often have no choice about our circumstances we can choose the attitude with which we face the situation. The control switch is on the inside; we can decide to be victims or we can decide to be victorious. The choice is ours.

Flexibility will help. Rigidity does not help. When problems are relentlessly punching us we can roll with the punch. When we are knocked down we can get up, brush ourselves off and get back in the race. We do not have to stay down.

We can choose to be happy even in hard times because happiness is a choice. We can learn to enjoy what we have rather than make ourselves miserable wishing for something we might not enjoy if we got it.

            No groceries in the pantry? No cans of tuna or sardines? No problem for Dean. She celebrates the challenge of fixing a meal when there appears to be nothing to fix. So today she took the meat off the bones of two bream leftover from a recent supper. Then to the meat she added some onions, pickles and mayonnaise. Crackers and tea completed the menu. With a twinkle in her eye she said, “I pretended it was tuna fish salad and it was delicious!”

            Her celebratory spirit inspired me to suggest that we really live it up and go out to Taco Bell for supper. Two celebrations in one day are not too many! After all I am not stingy; I am a big spender!

            The lesson for the day: no matter what is happening you can find a way to celebrate! Celebrate what is. Celebrate what has been. Celebrate what is to come. With your last breath, celebrate!  Some folks may think you are nuts, but when the last curtain falls you will have achieved the ultimate victory!  + + +