Why We Had a Party the Day After Hal Had Surgery :-)
Yesterday our teens took a 15 passenger van full of friends to a huge Christian concert in another city. Some of our friends were very concerned. Weren’t we worried? Was that really safe? How would they manage the parking, the concert venue, staying together? Why did I let them do that when we were already having so much stress in the house?
They went with my blessing for the same reason we had a caroling party the day after Hal had a cancer biopsy. Satan has a modus operandi he frequently uses on young people: “Christianity is boring. You won’t have any fun. You’ll never find a mate. People will think you’re weird.” Those are all lies. I remember when I was in rebellion as a teen one night the Lord revealed to me that I had believed a lie. I remember being at a party and looking in the mirror. I had a big smile on my face and looked like I was having a great time. Really I was miserable. Unhappy. Feeling guilty. Sad. I looked around me at the other people there and suddenly saw that they were all wearing masks, pretending to have a good time while all the while feeling insecure, worried, unhappy. I wanted to run out of there and I decided I never wanted to “wear a mask” again. Wasn’t there real fun somewhere – relaxed, happy, at peace… righteous?
“Yes there is!” I discovered in college when I got involved with a serious group of Christians. We can have a much better time than the world when we let go of the world’s expectations and behave like believers. As our sons have moved out into the world, they have been surprised to find that many Christians haven’t learned that yet. One of our sons found that the main entertainment for Christians at his college is to go to frat parties, but just not drink or hook up. They don’t seem to realize that Christians can have fun without aping the world. I think of them as “World Light” or “Diet World”! You can pretend you’re having the real thing, but not feel guilty! Lame.
Our guys know better because we have worked really hard to make sure they have had lots of good, clean fun. They know how much more fun it is to have a party without alcohol, but with lots of fellowship, congenial conversation, even singing and games. No guilt. No walk of shame. Like our caroling party. Let me tell you about it.
We invited several families over to go caroling with us. We ended up with 26 young people and about 10 adults. Those not recovering from surgery or pneumonia took off caroling. They started off several blocks away at the Auge’s house – they aren’t getting out much because their 3 year old Bobby is being treated for leukemia. How Bobby enjoyed their singing!. They caroled back to our house, stopping wherever lights were on to sing, chatting and visiting, caring for younger siblings, laughing about the cold. When they got back to our house, everyone grabbed some hot Christmas tea and served themselves a plate of finger food.
For hours that evening, we talked and visited, played games like Catch Phrase, sang, ate great food, prayed together, and cut up. By the end, we were uproariously singing favorite Gilbert & Sullivan songs. It was a blast. Everyone had a great time and it didn’t break up until the wee hours. We built memories. Memories of social events without sin, without guilt, without shame. Fellowship. Food. Joy and Laughter. Fun. All in the presence of our King.
That’s one thing we want our children to take with them as they leave our home: the knowledge that joy and happiness are found in the service of the King, not in the spiritual anesthetic of alcohol. It’s worth staying home and praying for their safety. It’s worth having a party the day after a biopsy!