It’s My Birthday!

It’s my birthday today. Happy birthday to me! Actually, as I write this, I am overwhelmed by the number of friends that are wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook. It’s nice to be remembered.

When we are young, we want to grow up. That is, everyone but my Rachel. But that’s another story. We all want to be older so we can do stuff. So we can drive. So we can go to college. So we can get a job and earn some money so we can do more stuff. Then we get a little older. And that stuff goes away. As we get older, most of us decide we don’t want to be as old as we are. We wish we were younger and could do more stuff. Life has a way of doing that thing to us. You know, those aches and pains and challenges.

I know a lot of people who won’t tell their age. They don’t want people to know how old they are. I think it’s a little funny. At least most of the time. But as my friend’s mother used to say, “I’m thankful for another birthday. The alternative isn’t desirable.” I also enjoy these days telling people my age. They seem surprised that I don’t look it. Pride may be sinful, but I am a little proud that I have been preserved well.

I thought of George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life” this morning. What would life be like without me? I’m not sure what the answer to that would be, but I know what my life is like with me. And I have a couple of thoughts to share.

1. I’m grateful God gave me life and knew me before I was born. I’m thankful for being born again and that I am already living an eternal life. This body is fading away, beginning now with aches and pains and scars, but my soul will live forever. I am grateful for this hope and knowledge.
2. I’m grateful that I have a relationship with the Creator, his Son, and the Spirit. The life I lead now is no longer mine, though sometimes I try to take it over again. I have to give it back every morning.
3. I’m grateful for a mate that I found who makes me laugh, brings me joy, and shares my life with me. When the day is done, I am grateful that I get to go to sleep next to her, knowing of her love and commitment to me.
4. I am humbled by the life of my two daughters. They, too, make me laugh. Except when I’m picking up the 8 pairs of shoes that I am having to step over because they didn’t put them away in their closet. I am grateful for their growing love of Christ and the promise of a bright future for them.
5. I’m grateful for my work. I’m thankful for music and for the chance to make it with people who are dedicated and committed and talented and fun to be around. I’m thankful they put up with my craziness at every level. I’m grateful for a family of faith that I can help lead and be a part of, to watch God at work in the lives of many people.
6. I’m blessed beyond anything I could imagine by living in the United States and Texas. (Some might say in another order.) I love the community where I live, my back porch, and even having to do yard work. It reminds me that I am blessed. Truly blessed.

I have told my girls that I want to live to be 100. I want to see them grow up and have families. And I want to live long enough to see my great-grandchildren. I want to see a new generation, another sprig on the ol’ family tree. I want to see what life is going to be like then and how many changes have taken place in the next…umm…so many years. If the iPhone has changed this much in the last 4 years, what will it do in the next 12 even?

Yes, it’s a good day. It’s a good day to have a birthday. Happy birthday to me.

By the way, I’m 51.

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