I guess I should say at the top of this post that it is my 64th birthday today. Yep… difficult to believe that the years are passing so quickly. But, for some reason, this year’s celebration has been different than most. Yes, we had the family party and the cake and the gifts, etc. but I mean the events leading up to my “special day” were far from the norm.
Because, usually, I get pensive several days before Feb. 19th and become somewhat reflective on the past year and try to discern what the next year will hold. I guess in some ways, I try to control things and then assess at the end of the year whether or not I have accomplished what I set out to do. It is something of a cerebral process and one that is difficult for me to explain. But I’ve been that way as far back as I can remember. And one thing that never changes is that I always start out the day thinking about my parents and how long it has been since I have seen them on my birthday. In that respect, today wasn’t any different. I woke up at about 5:00 a.m. and just thought about the past – my birthdays in the far distant past…
But I didn’t get stuck there. In fact, I was curious about historical events that happened on February 19th, so I looked up “This day in History” and learned some interesting stuff. For example, Aaron Burr was arrested for treason on this day back in 1807 and Bob Hope married his wife, Delores, on this date back in 1934. There were numerous other events as well, but the one that struck me was the birth of Copernicus back in 1473. And while I won’t get into a litany of all the things that he did, suffice it to say that he advanced the theory that the sun was the center of the universe and that the planets revolved around the sun in circular orbits.
While this is a well known fact today, back then it was revolutionary thinking and Copernicus actually wrote a paper that correctly listed the planets in order from the sun and pretty much predicted, with accuracy, their orbital paths. Although it was not published during his lifetime, it laid the groundwork for future study by Galileo and Kepler, as well as Sir Isaac Newton. Eventually, by the end of the 18th century, the work of Copernicus was widely rather accepted. As I was reading the article, I was reminded that each birthday as a young boy, my grandfather would congratulate me on successfully making “another trip around the sun.”
For some reason, I had forgotten this until this morning but it fit in nicely with my whole spirit today. I looked at things differently and this was certainly a new way to consider where I have been the past year – around the sun! And that makes 64 complete orbits around the center of the solar system.
I also received a nice e-card from the folks at Princess Cruises. I kind of look forward to that each year as something that always is a little interesting – even if it is predictable. But today, I wasn’t disappointed. The card highlighted research that told me, more or less, the things that have happened since my last birthday. They are: that I have had approximately 1460 dreams since I turned 63; that statistically, 20 million people around the world share my birthday and that each year, 98% of the atoms in my body are replaced. Fun facts, don’t you think?
Another piece of trivia about today is that this is my 1215th post. Yep, and that includes close to 1.5 MILLION words that I have written since I started Transitions by The Book 6 years ago TODAY!!! That’s right – I wrote my first post on my 58th birthday. Who could have guessed that I would still be here writing tonight?
As has become my custom, the verse for tonight is the verse that started it all on my first post. My grandmother gave me a small New Testament Bible on my 10th birthday and inside the cover, she signed it and referenced a Bible verse from Hebrews. She reminded me, as stated in Hebrews 13:20, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Those words have been in my mind ever since I was 10 years old. Because God has a job for each of us to do and He will equip us the for task that He has in store for us – our individual calling. My encouragement this evening is that you have a divine assignment that God is just waiting for you to accomplish with His help. My prayer is that you will give some thought to taking bold steps and discovering your God given mission. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…