Okay, so I have never been one to really get into my birthday per se. I mean I am totally glad I was born…obviously…but I’m not one to really get into a big celebration and party and all that. I don’t know…I get self-conscious…and truth be told I am really an introvert at heart and so big parties that focus on me don’t float my boat. Now, I love making a big deal of other people’s birthdays. Ask my wife. She doesn’t get a birthday, she gets a birthweek…and she loves it. She really embraces it. She enjoys the hoopla, the cake, the presents…and fortunately for her I love doing that for her, much to the chagrin of our budget some years.
The thing is my wife really loves my birthday as well. When I got home last night, late from a meeting, the whole house was decorated with balloons and streamers and just for me. Not for a party or anything, just for me. Now, that is sweet by any standard, but something about that hit me right. It has set today up to be the kind of birthday that suits me.
I have also been overwhelmed by the little things people have done for me today. I have had little gifts left on my desk, gotten a cake from the office staff here, received more mail in my inbox than I know what to do with, had phone calls and voicemail messages from friends to wish their best, and had lunch with my Mom. For all of you that have sent birthday wishes…I really appreciate it! You have no idea!
Now this is not a plea for those that haven’t done anything to say, “Oh crap, I forgot!” and to frantically fill my inbox with e-cards…that’s not my point…but if you want to send money out of guilt that would be ok, I guess. Just kidding.
No, my point is that normally I would be feeling pretty self-conscious most years at this point, and frankly I would kinda turn into a jerk…again, ask my wife. I don’t really know what has changed in me this year as opposed to past birthdays, but I have sorta turned over a new leaf about celebrations (see previous posts about Christmas). I mean, Ecclesiastes says,
1 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
The thing with me is that I tend to listen to the “time to cry” passages more than the “time to laugh” ones. And I grab onto the “time to grieve” statements more than the “time to dance” ones…I don’t dance. At some point in the past year I decided I just cannot live like that anymore. I have to live with the “joy of the Lord as my strength” and to really embrace the true and genuine times of celebration…like birthdays and Christmas.
So, I say bring on the cake, the cheesy song, and the candles. Happy Birthday to me!