I turned 42 today, and it was a great day. I worked all day. Most of our staff was off for a good and well-deserved break after a very full Christmas season. But the New Year's holiday came to an end with everyone returning on this day, and I needed to attend some important meetings, finish Sunday's message and prepare for some upcoming events. But our staff is like family, and I was greeted with lots of great cards, balloons and gifts in our offices today. My phone rang off the hook with texts and calls and notices of posts, all of them making me feel very loved and appreciated.
I got to come home this evening to spend a lot of time with all my kids, have dinner together, play some games, open some gifts, laugh and talk. It was precious time...slow time. And it got me to thinking...
Birthdays come and go. The older we get, the less significant the 'party' is. There's less fanfare in the unwrapping and more importance in the reflection. For me, there is less urgency about the day, but a greater sense of urgency about the days to come.
Truth is, I'm not that old. At 42, there's good reason to believe that I've got a few decades in front of me. But in a lot of ways, I've always felt older than I am. Not physically, necessarily. But, frankly, for some reason, I've always had a keen awareness of how quick this journey would be. I knew it when I was 20. I know it even more now.
Maybe that's why I hurried things along in the first part of my adult life. We had our children when we were young. I went to college when I was 17. Married at 19. Graduated from college when I was 21. Bought my first house the same year. I've always been in a hurry. I've always felt like there wouldn't be enough time, like I'd run out of time before I was finished.
I'll probably always be that way. Part of my DNA. But in the past few months, I've started to think with a more mature mindset. Still urgently...still with an awareness that there isn't a lot of time in the journey, but also with the knowledge that we were meant to appreciate the journey along the way. Days like today are good days. I didn't blow through it, I processed it. It wasn't rushed or hurried. It was lived.
Thanks for all the good wishes that so many sent my way today. It made for a great and reflective birthday. I feel so blessed today and grateful to have a life filled with the kind of treasure that can only come from God.