My 27th birthday went by quietly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. March 5 came, and then it went.
Of course, my lack of enthusiasm about March 5 hasn’t always been the case. As a child, celebrating my birthday was always a wonderful affair. I remember parties of miniature golf, laser tag, football, and so much more. My parents made it a mission to celebrate in style.
And with every passing year, there was this sense of excitement, of joy, and of wonder. But now, I have this distinct lack of excitement. I have a theory about this, and it’s not what you think.
Take my birthday celebrations from 17 – 22. In those years, I was essentially cordoned off from the rest of society. Either in high school or college, I was surrounded by people celebrating roughly the same birthday who were going through roughly the same experiences I was: learning how to drive, starting to seriously date, going off to college, having our first (legal) beer.
But then I entered society. Well, not quite, because seminary is some sort of fake society. When I started working in the church though, and I dove straight into the life of the church, my whole perception of age changed. After having been quarantined for my late teenage years and early twenties, I found this whole new vibrant world. It was a world in which people of all ages came together for work and prayer.
And I realized that faithfulness is not related to age.
I saw octogenarians struggle with their faith while teenagers were thriving. I talked for long hours about God with folks going through a mid-life crisis, while others had mid-twenties crises. Suddenly I learned that age has nothing to do with maturity and that the number of our years can’t measure our wisdom.
What this all boils down to is this: I’m not a big fan of birthdays because age doesn’t tell us anything. And the only place, I believe, that you can learn this lesson is in the Church. This is the place for all people, regardless of age, to meet for a common goal – nothing less than the Kingdom of God.
I can’t say it enough – I NEED THE CHURCH. No, not because I work at a church. I need the Church as the place to pray, to worship, to work together in God’s kingdom, and to learn these lessons. Lessons like this one.
One thought on “Looking Back Again – Birthdays”
If only everyone could come to this realization as early as you have…