The Power of Recurrent Events

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Tomorrow will be the first Labor Day in eight years I am home – or even in the same time zone as home! Since 2005 we have spent every Labor Day weekend running a conference for anywhere from 150 to almost 500 people. As I thought about not doing it this year, I realised how much of my life revolved around that event every year. Work in the fall to get a contract with a hotel, promotion in the spring, work through the summer to build the program, the mad crush of the week before, the insane few days of doing the conference, the tear-down aftermath, crashing and burning, and then, finally, a few well deserved days off to recover some semblance of sanity and normalcy. 

Does that sounds anything like what happens in your life annually. (For some it may be a description of Christmas!) There are other less extreme annual events too – including those we enjoy and those we do not. Each of these brings with it certain thoughts and emotions, good and/or bad. If a big negative event, like a death or some other  loss, happens around one of these times, it’s common to feel sad at that time for years to come, and maybe not even know why.

Recurring events have a powerful effect on our minds. God clearly understood this (duh) and used it to help the Jews of old by setting up feasts, celebrations and days of remembrance. We do much the same with anniversaries, birthdays, and special days for mothers, fathers, sweethearts, and so on.

How about tapping into the power of recurring events by creating a few special days to celebrate with your bride? Celebrate your first date very year, or celebrate the first day of spring. You could also celebrate less fixed annual events like the first ripe tomato of the year, the first snowfall, or first robin seen. Build a few rituals around the celebration, and enjoy them year after year.

Additionally, be aware of the anniversary of difficult or hurtful things, and be sensitive to your bride’s needs and feeling at those times.

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One Comment on “The Power of Recurrent Events

  1. Paul,
    I understand what you mean with the recurring events. I finished ten years of youth ministry last year and now I am in a completely different routine and rhythm of my life. I am looking forward to creating the new rituals for my family moving forward. Thanks so much for all you go with your writing.

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