Birthdays…what’s the point?

Description: Colorful birthday cake with sprinkles and ten candles on a blue background

We celebrated Valentine’s Day last week as a two-parter, sharing the day of flowers and balloons with my little dog, Sam’s, 15th birthday. 15!? I still can’t believe it. And this week includes my own birthday and several friends,’ as we celebrate another year of life and (hopefully) health together.

What is the point of birthdays?

Sure, some years we are excited and anticipate the milestone of a new age and new possibilities. Other years, we might go into it numb, neutral, or even with some dread. Certainly over the last couple of years, most all of us look at the fragility and span of one’s life with extra details and more vivid angles of understanding. So, what is the point of celebrating these moments around the sun? Do we really need hoopla around just another day?

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”

I love this quote, commonly attributed to Rev. Clarence H. Wilson in 1927 OR Satchel Paige. One hated birthdays and the other loved them. It gets to the heart of the matter; sometimes birthdays and counting the years hold us back from the full potential and value we place on life and aging. Sometimes, not recognizing our actual age, causes us to make some questionable fashion decisions. No matter, we have these birthdays on the calendar and should–however we want to view them–at least acknowledge God’s presence with us through each and every year of life.

I came across this Scripture this morning and paused – “Your (God’s) eyes saw my embryo, and on your scroll every day was written that was being formed for me, before any one of them had yet happened.” [Psalm 139:16] What a fascinating thought, God seeing us as a tiny embryo, sharing in the storywriting with us from the beginning. WOW. Before we even know who we are and what we are, God’s presence is among us. God is coaxing us to keep going, keep dreaming, keep living, keep growing. And an embryo is certainly not guaranteed life in the end. So many things in our overall life can bombard our story with changes, yet God is walking with us along the way and throughout the changes. And this is to be celebrated.

Seize the Day, like Sam. [Description: small dog eating steak off of a plate with Happy Birthday napkin next to plate.]

So, whether you crowd around a cake with glowing candles, or you offer your little dog a 2 oz. steak to commemorate, celebrate your day. Even if today isn’t your birthday. Think about what you’ve learned lately and where you have chosen to focus your time and energy. Who is your priority right now? What is your priority? And is there something you’d like to shift your focus to in the upcoming season?

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”

Happy week.



Saturday, March 12 from 10:00-11:30 am Worship Workshop (for families, including

grandparents, guardians and other adults interested in sharing a life of faith with young ones in their lives) – led by Pam McDaniel. Join us for this exciting, free event! Flyers available in the church office.

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