Well, another birthday has arrived. I was born on Saint Patrick’s Day at 11 o’clock in the morning 63 years ago. Yes, the birthdays are starting to pile up. As one of my grandsons said when I answered him as to how old I am, “Papa, that is a big number.” I am just glad to still be around. I try to think like the old English Proverb that states, “The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune!”
It has been said that “there is no cure for the common birthday.” How true that is. As matter of fact, the mirror reminds me how right that statement really is! The passage of time can’t be stopped. Why would you want to stop having birthdays? Having birthdays is the only way to live a long life!! And on this St. Patrick’s Day I am more blessed than a leprechaun that found on a hillside a pot of gold. Yet birthdays are a time for reflection, a time for contemplation.
Birthdays should remind us of the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord. It is only because of His goodness to us that we are privileged to be where we are on our road in the journey of life. Grace has seen us this far and grace will see us home. The Lord has been most gracious to me. I am so thankful for my health and that I can still run, which I have been doing since age 13, even though I have slowed with the passage of the years. I am still able to do my annual birthday routine of running a minute for every year. That is 63 minutes this year and I am most grateful I was able to do so. I am most thankful I can still put one foot in front of the other.
Birthdays remind us of the fragileness of life and that life is truly a gift. Life is a precious gift that can be here one minute and gone the next. My journey with prostate cancer has made me realize that even more. We should treasure each day. We should seek each day to be a blessing to others and bring sunshine, smiles and laughter into the life of those around us for we may not get another chance. Tell those close to you, friends and family, that you love them. You may not get another chance.
Birthdays remind us that life is too short to waste and abuse. Too many people are wasting their talents and gifts and abusing the life the Lord has blessed them with. The Lord gave us all certain abilities and He expects us to use them to enrich the lives of others. Are we? If not, we need to be. It is in enriching the lives of others that our own life is enriched. Abraham Lincoln said it well, “And in the end, it’s not the years in our life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Birthdays remind us that this world is not our home we are just-a-passing through. No matter how long our life may be we will not be on earth forever. George Bernard Shaw once said, “One out of one die.” Those odds are not in our favor! The Bible says we are pilgrims and strangers here below. While we have time we need to make preparation for the life beyond the here and now. How do we do that? We do that by faith in and through a relationship with Jesus Christ. He left eternity to inhabit time, that those bound by time might one day inhabit eternity. Thankfully, I took care of that eternal decision over forty years ago as a nineteen year old.
Yes, I enjoy life and treasure each moment. I echo the words of Frank Sinatra when he said, “I hope everyone lives to be 150 and the last voice you hear is mine!” However, I want to live in such a way that when I hear that last earthly voice, the next voice I hear is that of my gracious Savior welcoming me into that Eternal City where no one ever grows old.
Ah, birthdays. I am more grateful than I could ever express in words to be around for another year. On this St. Patrick’s Day I am truly a very “lucky” man. Yes, 63 is a big number and I hope they keep getting bigger. And on this my birthday may I have the attitude of the poet who said, “We turn not older with years, but newer every day.”