Yesterday we were talking about the fact that the United States is cutting back on the amount of attention it is giving to formative Presidents such as George Washington and Abe Lincoln. I expressed my opinion that I think that is sad. The ability to remember is one of the greatest of human gifts. We all have it, and should celebrate it, and should be guided by it.
In this context, I have noticed a strange tendency popping up. Many of my friends, whether in early middle age or older, are not interested in birthdays. They don’t want to talk about them, they don’t want to celebrate them. I think this is just as regretable as forgetting about ole George and Abe!
Remembering our birthdays is very healthy, and can give us a sense of rootedness, if at least once a year we stop, think about, and celebrate the reality that one special day, we arrived here. That day was to be the first of all that would follow, filled as they would be with learning, excitement, hard work, pain, suffereing, a sense of loss, and finally, preparation for the other book end- our earthly death and birth into eternal life.
None of us are free of pain. None of us avoid suffering. Although these negative realities follow our birth, they do not negate the awesome reality that we have been born, brought into existence as part of the plan of a loving God. That plan is with us every moment of our existence. What a wonderful thing to celebrate! Happy Birthday this year, and many more. Bring on the cake!