Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Birthday in the Wilderness

I’m sure I wasn’t any different than any other kid in the fact that I looked forward to my birthday for months before hand. The prospect of people gathering around the dinner table for cake and ice cream and giving me presents would have me tingling with excitement in the days before it actually arrived. I’m not exactly sure when the thrill of the birthday celebration began to change, but it was somewhere between my 10th when I remember telling my mom, 2 days before “Tomorrow, I can say tomorrow is my birthday!”, and my 14th when I found it embarrassing to be seen by my friends going to a movie with my family. Of course you make it through your party years when, even though the celebrations get progressively bigger, they can never quite overcome the consternation of youth slipping away.

And so begins the balancing act of enjoying the experience but despising the age that is required to get it. I don’t think I have ever been more cognizant of this duplicity than this year as I once again approached that annual milestone. I look forward to everyday as another day closer to home and family and then I feel remorse for wishing away time that I will never see again. So as the day approaches, I tend to take stock of what I have managed to do with the time that has been allotted me this far. Have I spent the time, or have I invested it, passed it or used it? So I add up all the years that have led me to this one, the good along with the bad, the productive with the wasteful, and I try to make a fair assessment. No matter how many times I go through this exercise though, I always seem to come up with the same answer: While all are necessary, the time spent with family is better than the time spent with friends. The time with friends is better than time alone. When time is spent alone, it’s best spent with God.

I have spent much of this past year alone and not enough of it seeking God. I enjoyed the times with friends, relished those with family and simply treasured that time spent with both. So I want to thank all those who gathered around me this year, and with gifts from family allowed me to celebrate with friends and, even if only for a time, made me feel that much closer to home.

2 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Firepower, Happy Birthday. While you miss your family and friends know that one family in Cleveland is wishing you well and sending prayers your way. Take care and stay safe.

Huntress said...

Happy Birthday FP!

You're not getting older, you're increasing in value! Like fine wine, you're getting better with age!

I don't believe we need to seek God so much as we need to acknowlege His Presence in our lives... a few minutes in quiet contemplation of all we have, and all we have avoided, followed by a heartfelt Thank You.

Just to Be is a blessing, just to Live is Holy.

My birthday wish for you: May you be happy, may you be at peace!