Monday will be my 61st birthday. I’m sharing my writing from 2020.
Thoughts on my Upcoming Birthday
My writing desk today is a wooden table with a spectacular view. While nestled in the mountains of Van Buren County, the blue skies and gentle breeze affords me a quiet setting for reflection. The country road to the backside of our cabin seems to have no traffic pass by this morning and the only signs of life are the birds singing in the trees. It’s a place of tranquility and my Bible is open in front of me. I might not recognize the external serenity of the day without eternal serenity. I have Jesus. Peace reigns in my soul.
My thoughts drift…August 9th will be a milestone birthday. As I anticipate this new decade of life, I do so with fond remembrance of those women who came before me: Mary Carolyn, Lola, and Sophia. Genetics would dictate short lived lives for these women and our common heritage requires I come to grips with the brevity of life. How many days do I have left? I don’t know. No one does, except God. He knows the exact number of years, days, hours, and seconds. I trust that His timing is perfect (Psalm 139).
Mom and I shared our birthdate and each celebration was like an annual holiday. Most memorable, was a surprise by live radio: a three-way prank call from Craig O’Neill. That call, his voice…I can still hear the words mother/daughter birthday just before the call ended. That day was filled with laughter. But then there was my 55th birthday, a day of emergency with Dad, the inevitable beginning of his life’s end. I’ve not celebrated on my birthdate since that tragic day. Whether loved ones and mentors from the past or saints who inspire my future, to these I am grateful. And the events, though some be unpleasant, have lead me to live more fully and meaningful purposes. It’s as a seasoned Christian, I recall some of God’s refining. Each person and each life event was divinely and deliberately placed so God might use them to make me more Christlike. I know Him in a greater way.
This year will be different. The day is not really about me. It’s about celebrating the gift of life God has given me: It’s about celebrating His goodness and faithfulness. He has done so much with me and for that reason alone I think even today, and every day forward, is worth celebrating. My 60th birthday means I learn from the past and with the Lord’s help, I chart a course for the future. And I shall “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1).