So, yesterday was my birthday. It wasn’t any special round number, but was just another number added to my list of numbers. Birthdays are usually exciting for us until around age 25 or so, and then they are mostly reminders that we are getting older, which can be exciting or discouraging, or both. In out family, we do have a few traditions with kids and adults, where the birthday boy/girl gets to pick out their favorite kind of cake or dessert (mine is usually peach or cherry pie), and pick a favorite meal for supper. I’m not usually too picky, and when my wife asked, I chose a meat and potatoes (cauliflower mashed potatoes) meal she made once several years ago. So, that’s what we had, along with a family rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to You’, which is often the kids’ favorite part. Do you have any traditions in your family that make you feel special?
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
One unique thing about our birthday is that we don’t get to choose what day it will be, along with our gender, or where we are born, or who our parents will be. Those are a lot of things out of our control to start out with in life. We might feel a little sad for some who are born on or near holidays, like Christmas, or even worse, might share a birthday with a sibling. I have a brother who is a year and a day older than me, and my aunt tells me that my mother started labor on my brother’s first birthday and was determined that I wouldn’t be born on the same day. So I arrived early the next morning. I checked and there was a family in Virginia, who had all five of their children born on the same day, in different years, which might be a bigger celebration than normal. If you are like me, and most other guys, we don’t always like to have people fuss over us outwardly, but we might still admit it does feel nice having those we love most get excited for us, even if only once each year.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
Birthdays are good in that they remind us how special we are, or even a reminder of how God sees us. We may have certain expectations (presents when we are younger), or as we get older to have just a few people to send us a card or to celebrate our special day with us. Its also a day that kind of reminds us of our own mortality…that ultimately we won’t be celebrating our birthdays forever, this side of heaven. And 50-100 years after we are gone, will there be anyone who remembers us at all? So, if you have a chance to attend a birthday party for a small child, go and celebrate to help remind them how special they are and how much they are loved. Celebrate life with those around us when we can, as a small reminder of how special we are to God.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
Yours in Christ,