It’s February 19th and the day is almost over. Today marks 4 years since I wrote my first post for Transitions by The Book; and more noteworthy than that is the fact that today is my 62nd birthday. It’s been a day of limited work and more than anything else, I have reflected, as I find myself doing more and more frequently, on the years of my life.
In the recent past, I have spoken with a cousin who I haven’t seen in more than 40 years, had a wonderful conversation today with an other cousin and been re-united with other members of the family as a result of health issues that have recently come to light. In addition to those things, both of my brothers have called and I have received birthday greetings from many others, including a number of people who are ministry partners. Tonight, Janet and I had dinner with our son, Andrew, and two of our dear friends – it couldn’t have been nicer.
Even more remarkable than that, in the past year I have reconnected with quite a few people from my grammar school and high school days. Going back as far as I can remember are Eric, Harold, Philip, Kitty, Veda, Sue and Norman. Then, Beth, Leslie and several other friends from high school have surfaced as well. My life has really changed in the last several years and in ways that I would never have expected. In fact, as I am writing this tonight, one of my high school friends just wrote and noted how we are feeling that time is running out to connect with people from the past. How true!
Janet’s parents have passed on and we have moved our home. Our children have experienced health challenges and our eldest daughter, Kristin, has gone through much more than any of us could have ever predicted. Not only one, but two serious health issues that threaten to change her quality of life dramatically. Her attitude is fantastic and lesser people would crumble under the stress. Of course, Kristin’s faith has something to do with the way she is dealing with all this.
And I have spent a portion of today thinking about the past and all the things that God knew would happen in my life. I have relived those grammar school birthday parties and our various graduations. And when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer less than a year after Janet and I were married. And when Mom was told that she had geriatric MS and that her health would decline. I have even recalled when I started my first company and the several Janet and I have had since then.
As I get older, I think that I dwell on the changes ahead more than I used to – especially since the past is in the books. As I process all this, it seems to me that it makes sense that we must live every day to the fullest and do everything we can to honor God in the process. Our actions should reflect our faith in the Lord of the Universe. It is quite possible that the best is yet to come – at least that is the way that I choose to look at the future! And although I know that God knows every hair on our heads and the days for each of us are numbered before any of them come to pass, tonight’s verse is from the Psalms. In fact, it was the verse that was in a birthday card that I received from our dinner companions this evening. We are told by the psalmist, in Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
My encouragement this evening is that God celebrates every day of our lives, not just our birthdays. We are important to Him and He wants to be important to us as well. And as a reminder, the psalmist confirms that the Lord has made today and every day – we are to rejoice in this knowledge. In fact, that is my prayer for you this birthday evening. Wherever you are in your life, regardless of your circumstances, I hope that you will take a moment and thank God for this day and every day. I know that is something that I need to do more often. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…