I pray the day finds you well.
Today is my birthday.
I came into the YMCA to a nice birthday banner on the wall outside my office, glitter sprinkles on the floor and a nice happy birthday sign in my office. I have received many nice birthday wishes, and inquiries about what I might be doing on this special day.
It is nice to be thought of, it is nice to be loved.
I have never been good about receiving compliments or having attention directed my way, it makes me uncomfortable. I guess it stems from my childhood. It seems that when I got attention at school or from adults it wasn’t the attention I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a bad kid, but I wasn’t a saint as well. All these years later, I still feel uncomfortable with attention. As the day progressed I gradually became more comfortable with the, “Happy Birthday, what are you going to do today?” well wishes.
Birthdays are funny things.
People make a special attempt to say hi, and to let you know they are thinking of you.
Too bad that birthdays are only once per year. Now I will have to wait another year for the well wishes to come. I will have to wait another year and be uncomfortable all over again, only to gain comfort as the day progresses.
How cool would it be if we could be that attentive every day?
I watch people coming and going all the time. And for the most of it we live in our little bubbles, going along never really noticing the other person. Pretty soon these other persons stop being other people and they become other things. We stop seeing them as people and start seeing them as a color, a worldview, an ethnic group…they stop being a person and only become a label. We might as well all be pickle jars with different labels.
I can see why groups of people come into conflict with each other. It is because they are no longer groups of people but because they become pickle jars, and see only that the label on the other jar is different.
The birthday question that I have for today is, “Why do we spend most of our lives as pickles and only see people as people one day per year?”
Why can’t we show people more of the Love of Christ, and less of the Wrath of God?
Let us do what God commands us to do:
The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22-34-39
And let God be in charge of His own Wrath.
Lord, on my birthday give me Your eyes, Your ears, Your mouth, Your heart. Give me the courage and endurance to do your greatest commandment. Please rebuke me when I think I am the one to dispense your wrath. Remind me of my job, and not let me try to do yours.