Friday, February 02, 2007

Celebrate Good Times, Come On

While I shivered amidst pyramids of canned meat, bottled water, and Wal-Mart flashlights yesterday for fear of what unspeakable disaster Winter Storm '07 might wreak upon the beleagured city of Charlotte, my roomate, Mr. Shaw, received one of the more important phone calls he'll ever get in his lifetime.

After years of working, after even more years of dreaming, after a year of waiting, he received acceptance to UNC Dental School.

In terms of practical consequence, this may not seem like that big a deal. He had already been accepted to a dental school in Indiana, so he would have worked hard there and become a successful dentist. Staying in state will save him a lot of money, but as a dentist, he would not have had much trouble paying off even out-of-state tuition. Going to UNC will provide him better basketball tickets and a few more opportunities to see his Charlotte-area family every year.

All this is good, but the reason we celebrated like whoa last night was because Nate risked desiring to go to UNC.

Yesterday was awe-inspiring because of the worry that comes with a poor exam grade when you want to go to competive grad school. Yesterday was awe-inspiring because, unlike your roomate of three years who has no aspirations to go to grad school, you had to care about your GPA for four years. Yesterday was awe-inspiring because of four summers spent working ten hour days in a dentist office. Yesterday was awe-inspiring because of the will-power it takes to study for the DAT five hours each summer day when all of your college buddies are off playing frisbee golf. Yesterday was awe-inspiring because despite all this sacrifice and despite having more than adequate numbers, you were unexplainedly denied admission last year.

Yesterday was awe-inspiring because Nate risked failing in an endeavor about which he cared a great deal. And this, my dear reader, is rare.

Nate told me that when he received the unknown call from the 919 area code, he simply sighed. What else can you do? There will be time for excitement, for screaming, for Tiger Woodsian fist-pumps later. In that moment, years of work, years of investement, years of emotion came thunderously crashing to one single moment. What else can you do but release a sigh of relief, contentment, and gratitude.

These moments do not come along often, partly because we dare to risk so much so little. Even sometimes when we do risk, we lose - or at least we think we do. Yesterday though, a risk was rewarded, and that is worth celebrating.

Our God is a God of celebration. I think we miss this a lot of times, but God's people have always celebrated from the Old Testament times of David and Nehemiah to the New Testament times of wedding feasts to the current times when the prodigal son's return prompts Heaven to party like it's 1999.

So yesterday we celebrated. We ate, drank, and were merry. We skipped "Grey's Anatomy." We hugged and counted how many times we could say "UNC Dental School" in conversation (our goal was 100; we made it to 7). We wore UNC paraphanalia even though they weren't playing basketball. We sent text messages with lots of cuss words because we needed Nate to know just how damn excited we were and "Good job" just didn't seem to cut it. We celebrated his years of work. We celebrated his willingness to dream. We celebrated God's faithfulness, which is always constant, but seems oh so real in moments like this.

We acted like God's people last night. We celebrated good times, come on. What delight our Father must have taken to give his beloved son Nate that gift yesterday. I can't help but think he was celebrating along with us.


Alex said...

great post, bro, give nate my love and congrats...

Nate said...

Oh, I love you Humphries... sigh