Well, well. Been around the sun now 70 times. Hardly seems possible. It's a good day to take stock. What will I have passed on to my children and students? What do I still have to offer? Then again, we don't want to become too philosophical on our birthday, now do we?
I love birthdays. I always see them as the beginning of new possibilities. Some runners run the number of their years on their birthday. Believe me, I'd do that too, except that I'd like to be around for another 365 days. Instead I'll eat 70 KitKats, drink 70 sodas, and burp 70 times. I'm also super excited to be turning 70 because now I get to change age groups. I might also buy a pogo stick and ride it to class.
I did this on my 66th birthday.
That was definitely an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Today will be a pretty normal day for me. I'll teach my class and then give myself the gift of running or cycling. For dinner I'll probably go to the Ethiopian restaurant and proclaim as loudly as I can, "It's my 70th birthday!"
Have you ever noticed that in the Bible the only people celebrating their birthdays are pagans? Hmm. Maybe that's why nobody really knows the day when Jesus was born. (Note: It probably wasn't in the dead of winter.) I've even read somewhere that celebrating one's birthday goes against Scripture. They quote passages like Eccl. 7:1: "The day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth." Boy, some people need to get a life. If, in all our activities, we honor God, I'd say go for it.
Bottom line is: The past is the past. I'm grateful for it, but I want to improve and make progress as I journey on this earth. I feel I have not reached my potential as either a runner or a person. That said, when you reach the proverbial "three score years and ten," you do have an awful lot to be thankful for. Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, and for that, I can't thank the Creator of life enough. I hope to enjoy and celebrate the beauty of his creation for many years to come. Which reminds me of a sign I saw during my treks in Switzerland:
Meine Auge schauet,
was Gott gebauet
zu seinen Ehren
und uns zu lehren
wie sein Vermögen sei
mächtig und gross.
"My eye beholds, what God has made, for his glory and to teach us how mighty and great his power is!"
A hearty amen to that. I feel blessed for every birthday I get and enjoy the privilege of growing older.