In case you missed the parades and fireworks, today is my birthday. I won’t tell you how old I am, for online security reasons. Let’s just say I don’t think I can get away with calling myself middle-aged anymore.
It’s a challenge to write about one’s birthday without sounding self-pitying — probably because I am pitying myself to a degree. Birthdays, especially when one is alone, are mostly opportunities for ruthless self-examination. And those are seldom occasions for merriment.
My brother and his wife bought me lunch the other day. I took myself out for lunch today. I thought about buying a little cake, but I’d already sabotaged my diet pretty ruthlessly. And events beyond my control are coming up that promise to subvert it even more.
What are we to do? Longevity is its own punishment.
And then I exchange emails with a friend who happens to have the very same birthday. And he tells me he highlighted his day by scheduling a biopsy.
Perspective. Ah, well. Thanks to everyone who sent greetings on Facebook. I do appreciate them.
Today is my birthday. I could tell you how old I am, but then I’d have to kill you.
All in all, it hasn’t been a bad one. A friend had me over to grill on Saturday, and on Sunday I had lunch with another friend. And today at work, three guys from the seminary came to my office and sang “Happy Birthday.” But in a whisper, because it was the library.
Very good, guys.
You know what getting older is like? I have a Metaphor. It’s like you’re walking in the woods, and following the path just like the maps said. And then suddenly you’re off the path, and you don’t know where the heck you are. And there’s no point trying to find the path again, because you’re never going back to the path. It’s deeper into the woods from now on.
Henceforth, don’t call us Senior Citizens. Call us Pioneers.
Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save. (Isaiah 46:3-5, ESV)
Today is my birthday. I will not tell you my age; suffice it to say that I have reached the age at which I expected to die, when I was a kid. (I place no prophetic weight on that expectation, by the way. Nothing else in my life has gone as I expected, why should this?).
The passage above is from a chapter that intrigues me, because its meaning is implicit. It’s not spelled out. You have to put two and two together. The message of the chapter as a whole is, “The heathen have to carry their gods from place to place with them. Our God carries us.”
This is the testimony of a man who has reached the full span of years he expected in his youth — Jesus Christ has carried me all the way. If I had not been carried, I would not have made it this far.