Today, February 18th, tends to be the most pensive and anticipated day of the year for me. That’s because in a few short hours, as the 19th rolls onto the calendar, I will celebrate another birthday. How odd… It’s like I have a ritual each year. I usually become a little more introspective and take stock of where I have been in my spiritual walk the past year, as well as how I have helped the family as a husband, father and grandfather. I realize there is always room for improvement, but the basic questions have to do with whether I am closer to God and a better member and leader of the family than I was a year ago.
For some reason, I always benchmark myself against what I think my parents would expect of me. It’s been years since they have both passed on and almost 20 years since I have heard either one of them wish me a “Happy Birthday.” The past two years, Janet and her sisters have experienced the loss of their parents as well. And it has become more clear than ever that we now represent the eldest generation still alive. I hope our parents would be proud of who and what we have become.
Kind of like the circle of life I write about sometimes. How vividly I remember the days when I was the youngest kid in the room and so suddenly, it seems, the decades have flown by and now, arriving at age 63 in the morning, the roles I play have changed significantly. Undoubtedly, I am the product of my upbringing, my environment and my marriage to Janet almost 43 years ago. I could never have imagined the many blessings we have enjoyed and how interesting the journey has been.
And it’s not over – by a long shot, I hope. God has been faithful and I am still being pruned for whatever the next chapter of my live holds. Right now, I still don’t know if it is writing a book (that seems to be a recurring theme) or if I will just continue writing this blog. Coincidentally, tomorrow marks the 5th anniversary of my first post and tonight’s entry is the 1,1112th article I have written since TBTB began. I could never have predicted this effort would still be going on when I started publishing these posts.
My prompting for writing the first article was finally understanding a Bible verse that my grandmother inscribed in the front of a small New Testament Bible she gave me on my 10th birthday, back on February 19, 1963. I have thought about that verse many times since then and in some respects, I have adopted it as almost a life verse. So that’s the verse I have chosen for this evening – a reminder of how God creates and equips each of us for a specific task. We are told by the author of Hebrews, in Hebrews 13:20-21, “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.”
Notice that God will equip us with everything we need for doing the assignments He has given to us. Of course, our successful completion of these assignments will bring glory to Him in the end. My encouragement this evening is that God has begun a good work in each of us and He wants us to work to maximize the gifts that He has endowed us with. My prayer is that you will remember the reason for your time here on earth. To glorify God, to be an ambassador for the God of the universe and to be the best possible person you can be, emulating the love that God has for Jesus and that Jesus has for each of us. And that’s worth remembering each year as our birthdays arrive!
Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…