As a child I always looked forward to birthdays. What wasn't there to look forward to? Presents, a party, being the center of attention for that special day where the gift of life is remembered to have started. I was very blessed to have a family that believed in making birthdays a special and celebratory moment. I do remember at those parties with family and friends all around, singing happy birthday while a candle laden cake was brought forth, being self-conscious and a bit embarrassed, while at the same time being thrilled that this was for me!
As I have grown older the importance and the "looking forward to" aspect of birthdays have waned some. I have friends who completely ignore their birthdays and won't tell you the date (or the year!). Perhaps it is fear of mortality or a denial of the passage of time or a combination of both. When I was turning 40 I remember feeling some mortality pangs. But I have come to terms with my growing older with a truthfulness and honesty about my mortality that is now part of my very being.
I thank God each day for the gift of life. I also ask for help in navigating my way through life's thorny patches, knowing that I am not alone in that journey, and that if I should get snagged by one of those thorns, God will not only be there with me but will still love me, even in my imperfections.
As I celebrate the passing of another year today and the start of a bright and shiny new one, I thank God for all the blessings of my life and I pray that I may be a vessel for service to God's people.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.