The dust settles, and as I stand here wiping cake off my face I’m guessing that I’m not alone.
Is it just me that sees a twenty something birthday as a huge leap? In so many ways, it just seems farther away than I feel I’ve actually travelled. Or maybe it’s just Taylor Swift’s anthem that makes me feel this particular age is more miserable and magical than anything I’ve had fly by me yet.
There are lots of feelings that swirl around me this time of year. I think about birthdays with a blend of cynicism and nine-year-old anticipation.
But there is heavy stuff too - the questions that you don’t have answers for.
And while I see every new year as a cliff where we lean out against the wind and spread arms to catch the sunshine – most of the time reality finds me under a bed sheet in the fetal position
God doesn’t leave me there thankfully. Actually, He never does.
And here are three things that I need to remember on my birthday…as well as every day of the year.
1. That first, foremost, and absolutely, “God is always wise, and knowing this, we are confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes and that nothing can occur that ought not to happen."
Sometimes I receive the blessings I don’t remember signing up for. Sometimes I think that God’s timing couldn’t be worse.
But that doesn’t change anything.
Truth is, “God is never too early and never behind.”
2. That God’s plan A (really my plan A) looks very much the same as what His (really my) plan B, C, D etc. looks like.
He wants me to obey and glorify. Simple.
And this is God’s will for me no matter where I am this year, what I am doing and no matter what decisions come my way.
3. That time does not run out. And it won’t.
“This day is not a sieve losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there’s this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity.”
And like the minister said of that miracle wine in Cana – the best is for last. Each day isn’t a loss, but brings Christ’s own closer.
So birthdays are life. And life is funny and messy. And with every birthday new lessons surface and I think the day becomes more an Ebenezer than anything else.
Hither by Thy help I’m come, the hymn says.
And that’s true enough.