I was watching Fox News yesterday and learned that August 1st of each year is a very special day. I was unaware of this fact but Dana Perino made an announcement that August 1st is designated as the universal birthday for all rescue and shelter dogs throughout the country.
The idea was started by the North Shore Animal League America about 10 years ago and has really caught on. The idea is simple – most dogs that are released to shelters and adopted by caring people don’t have official birthdays listed on their surrender paperwork. Neither do dogs rescued from puppy mills and other negative environments. And as we all know, birthdays are the day of the year that we celebrate the life and contributions of the people whose lives we are remembering.
Many folks use the adoption date of their pets as their “birthdays” but now there is a universal date that we can use to recognize these loving pets that are looking for their “forever” homes. Of course, there are those among us who don’t care about days of celebration – especially if they aren’t accurate with regard to the calendar.
Come to think of it, DOGust 1 isn’t much different than our celebration of Christmas or Easter. With all the changes in the calendars throughout the years, we would be hard pressed to prove that Jesus was, in fact, born on December 25th. And it would be even more difficult to choose a day for Easter each year based on an accurate calendar date.
The bottom line is that the exact date isn’t nearly as important as the fact that we recognize and celebrate the various historical events that have changed the course of the world as we know it. Now it is true that there are families that don’t celebrate special events – including birthdays, graduations, marriages, anniversaries, etc. but I don’t personally agree with this lack of recognition.
Because these days are days of remembrance and usually help us recall how our lives have changed as a result of certain events – especially within our families. So it makes sense that we celebrate our furry friends on a special day, now recognized each August 1st – which, coincidentally, has also become a rather significant day for adoptions across the country.
Some people even think of their birthdays as the day that they surrendered their lives to Christ and began what is considered their “eternal” life. While this is not as common as our natural birthdays, it does happen. But I don’t think Jesus cares when we celebrate Him as long as we do celebrate Him and are committed to live according to His purposes for our lives.
Our verse for this evening is one that affirms that the exact date, or even hour, is not important when it comes to the return of Jesus. What is important is the fact that He will return. The Gospel of Matthew makes this clear in Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
So the celebration of the return is much more important than the exact time. After all, we don’t have access to that information. But we can rejoice nonetheless. My encouragement tonight is that Jesus will return and we will celebrate when that happens. My prayer is that we will all be aware of God and His commitment to us. Because He celebrates every time someone accepts the free gift of eternal life and joins the family of those who believe. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…