So it’s true.
When you have reached that point in your life when you wake up each morning with either the same zeal or lethargy as the day before, you surely won’t expect anything out of the ordinary as the day stretches. You merrily plod along, following a routine that keeps both your mind and heart preoccupied.
Today is just like that except that, somebody greeted me a “Happy Birthday. ”
Everybody in the fam was as surprised as I was this morning when our “inaanak” (godson) reminded my hubs to send his birthday greetings to me. Apparently, he had known all along (through FB notifications) about my “special” day and had sent his online greetings as soon as he woke up. We just arrived last night from a gruelling eight-hour trip from our home province in Bicol after spending a few days there sans WiFi connection, and when I woke up so early for my morning devotion, I had no idea today’s my day.
How’s that for graceful aging?
Honestly, since I hit the “reflective” years, I stopped looking forward to celebrating my birthdays.
Not that I remember having a grandiose celebration ever. Nope. Until the folks hit their 80s, birthday celebrations ( with invited guests outside of the family) were never part of our family traditions. We have always looked at these occasions without any fuss or fanfare. We welcome them as they come in the same way we welcomed the days preceding them. This was because back in those days of penny-pinching and “belt-tightening,” our parents ingrained in our minds that there was simply no room for unnecessary expenditures, or else nine gaping mouths would suffer. We had to focus on the essentials—our studies in particular. Anything beyond that (parties or celebrations) hinted of lavishness.
Nobody complained. Nobody resented having birthdays without the usual celebrations neighbors and friends got to enjoy. We just let our special days quietly walk past us, with thankful hearts for the gift of health, year after year.
So even as we have already hurdled those “difficult” times, should we now celebrate our birthdays however which way we deem best?
I see nothing wrong with it if it is a way to celebrate the gift of life with people we treasure—family and friends. What is wrong is if it is done without acknowledging the life-giver himself as the one who has allowed us to celebrate our birthday each year. What is wrong is if we look at this day from a position of pride and invincibility, instead of from a standpoint of gratitude and humility.
Birthdays, in reality, are simply a reminder of the brevity of one’s life. The moment it comes, it simply tells us we are on our way toward which every man goes. No. Our final stop isn’t a small patch of earth over which a marble stone with our name on it, is fixed. Let us go beyond that. Our D-day (Designated Day) is that day when we will face our maker to give an accounting for the life we have lived.
So was it a coincidence that I forgot my birthday, and instead had my devotion early this morning on the reality of God’s judgment? Or have I been supernaturally reminded what I ought to focus on, as I continue to live by grace in this earthly tent?
Indeed, most of us look forward to celebrating our birthday each year. Yet, how many of us look forward to giving an accounting to God for how we have spent the limited time he lent us?
So here’s something to ponder on:
This year and beyond, let go of your fixations over celebrating your birthdays. Prepare more for the day of accounting. It is a thousand times more important than the day of your birth.
Which would you rather hear?
“Well done, my good and faithful servant?”
Or… “Away from me you, evil-doers?”
There is still time, my friend.