Rejoice Always

“The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“Stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.” - Robert J Hastings

My counselor shared that poem with my cabin on banquet night when I was 16 years old and I have carried the words with me since then. This life that we have been given is a beautiful gift that should be lived day-by-day, without the stresses of yesterday or the worries of tomorrow.

At camp, more than anywhere else, we put away the huff and puff and step into the bubble for a glorious five weeks of joy… So why not spend every day of our lives living that way?

Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Each day on this Earth is an opportunity to rejoice and live abundantly — to climb mountains and watch sunsets. Instead of spending an hour scrolling mindlessly on Facebook and Instagram, go on an adventure with your family. Go volunteer at your local humane society (who doesn’t love puppies!?) Each moment of this life is the gift from God and just like the gifts inside of you - they shouldn’t be wasted.

Much of Robert Hastings’ poem talks about “The Station.” “The Station,” in the earthly sense, is different for everyone. It’s what you think is going to bring you the most happiness on this Earth. “When I get ____, I’ll finally be happy.” For you, it may be making the varsity soccer team or getting the boy in your Math class to notice you. My “Station” is ever changing. In high school it was going to Furman University. When that didn’t work out, I changed my “Station” to getting a really great scholarship to a school in Kentucky. But here is the truth: “Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy.”

This journey we are on in life is as joyous as we make it! The only true Station is the Heaven that awaits us. Until then, let’s make a pact to stop saying, “I’ll be happy when…” or “If only this would happen…”

Instead, let’s pray without ceasing. Tell your friends and family how wonderful they are. Read amazing books. Take long walks. Do your homework. Be kind always. Read your bible. Have movie marathons (with huge bowls of popcorn). Learn new languages. Be accepting. Live every day like you are at camp. Eat a lot of cupcakes. Say thank you.

Whatever you do - rejoice always! Our station in Heaven will come soon enough. And until then… “Clap your hands, all you nations, shout to God with cries of joy.” - Psalm 47:1

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