Celebrate Along the Way!
Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep.
-2 Samuel 6:12-13
My family and I just got back from a road trip to the mountains. We had been excited about the trip for months, and we were up early on the first morning to begin our journey. We took multiple vehicles and we planned our six-hour trip with great care - restroom and food stops, the most efficient route, and how to arrange ourselves in the vehicles. As excited as we were to get there, we decided that we would take our time and enjoy each other and the trip along the way.
I'm glad that we did because I discovered driving up a mountain is not like driving in the coastal plain. There are lots of curves and winding roads, and as beautiful as the mountains are, there are some areas that are just downright frightening. As we were returning home from our wonderful trip I thought about how much this mountain trip was like marriage.
John and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this week - 20 years! As excited as I was when we stood at the altar (I got up early that morning and thought about it for months as well), I wasn't prepared for the winding roads, cliffs, and frightening things I would face. It has been beautiful - just like those mountains - but there have been some places along the journey that made me nervous and unsure, but you know what? I'm glad that we took the time to enjoy the trip.
See, you can't wait until you arrive at a destination to get excited. You have to enjoy it along the way or you might lose hope. You have to capitalize on the great times and minimize the trying times. You have to stop every so often just to praise God and celebrate.
That's what David did on his way back into Jerusalem. The children of Israel had left the ark, which symbolized God's presence, at Obed-Edom's house. David hadn't followed God's instructions, and someone died along the way. So much had happened, but he was finally bringing the ark back. He was thankful that things were going back to the way God intended. So, as they brought the ark back to Jerusalem, David stopped after they had only gone six steps, some commentaries say every six paces, and celebrated what God was doing. He didn't wait until God had done it. He didn't wait until he made it back to Jerusalem. He celebrated along the way.
I encourage you to do the same. Don't wait until things are perfect or you feel that you have arrived. Find something to celebrate right now. Celebrate that you are growing. Celebrate that your marriage is better than it was last week, last month, or last year. Celebrate that you both are trying. The only way to eventually celebrate a milestone is to enjoy the trip. Celebrate the small steps so that one day you can celebrate a big one!
What small victories can you celebrate this week?