Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One More Birthday

Those of us are who getting a little older may not view our birthday with the same enthusiasm and excitement we did when we were sitting in front of a birthday cake with candles which could be counted on fingers.  Having to use a calculator to do the figuring seems to take away some of the fun! While the Bible does not mention anyone's birthday, it does in the beginning pages make a big deal about the number of years people lived.  Adam lived 930 years; Methuselah created the longevity record with 969 years; Joseph, on the other hand, lived a mere 110 before he was put in a coffin in Egypt to await transport hundreds of years later back to the Promised Land.  As the Biblical story progressed, numbering years became less important, but in the beginning it was certainly something noteworthy.

Our fascination with celebrating birthdays is certainly noteworthy.  Children would agree as they count the number of presents, but as adults, they become noteworthy as we count the number of years. Whenever I start thinking about my three score plus years, I immediately remember some good friends whose years were far fewer.  Some things in life I am yet to understand.  Another thing that happens in the moment of counting years is giving thanks for the grace of God which has made it possible, and as I do, I come to another one of those things I do not understand.  Since every year, like every day, is a gift from God, each one is certainly noteworthy and something for which to be extremely grateful.

While "how many" may be noteworthy, "how well" seems far more important.  How well have I lived out this gift given to me by my heavenly Father?  How well have I cared for those entrusted to me?  How well have I loved those easy to love and those who seem to want to do nothing but make loving them difficult?  How well have I lived?  These birthdays we count are opportunities to make another mark on the longevity pole, but more importantly, they give us the opportunity to reflect on the years past in a way that can enable us to be more focused on living well in the ones still to come.

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