When’s your birthday? Are you looking forward to it? Are you excited for it to come and turn the next age on the dial?
As children, we are super pumped for our upcoming birthday. My kids start planning their birthdays like six months in advance. They plan parties, themes for parties, lists for gifts, friends who they will invite, and they talk about how soon they’re going to be older than they are now.
I feel like this stops at some point. Am I wrong?
When do we stop being excited for our birthday? Is it based on an age? Is it based on how our body feels? Is it based on weight gain or gray hair?
If you don’t already know, my birthday is later this month. I am not dreading it, but I can’t say that I am excited for it either. For me, birthdays have become a time of introspection. I reached a point in life where it started to dawn on me… “Am I officially ‘middle-aged’?” I am probably never going to be a better basketball player than I am now. I am probably not going to have a better body with less physical ailments. My eyes are not going to see better than they do now.
I find myself at an interesting stage. I am looking backward and seeing all the things God has done and what He has brought me through, and I am also looking forward and dreaming about what He still has left that He wants to accomplish. My birthday, at least for me, becomes this time where I am celebrating the goodness of God, while also still dreaming about the plan of God.
When’s your birthday? How old are you (Oh yeah, and at what age is it improper to still ask that question)? No doubt that most people reading this range in age from about 20 to 70. I know there are exceptions, but this is the majority taking time to read this (at least I keep telling myself someone is reading this, haha).
Chances are, if you are more toward that 20 number, you are reading this and thinking I am old. Maybe you even feel slightly bad for me.
If you are close to 40, maybe you can totally relate to what I am saying.
If you are more toward 70, you may be laughing at me for even hinting that I am getting older, and you are chuckling as I talk about aches and pains in my body.
Here’s the thing though, no matter where you are in age and life, I think we would all be wise to practice these same things. It might not be your birthday this month but help me celebrate mine by doing the same two things I am going to do. I am looking backward and seeing all the things God has done and what He has brought me through, and I am also looking forward and dreaming about what He still has left that He wants to accomplish.
When God used the Old Testament prophet Joel to shed light on the future outpouring of His Spirit, God said, “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28, NLT).
God had a vision for His Church that included both the young and the old. This is also why Paul wrote to Titus in the New Testament and simply said, “These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children,” (Titus 2:4, NLT).
For us to be the Church that God has designed us to be, we must never have an individual quit or stop seeing his or her place in the Body of Christ. God’s design was always to have both young and old working together. For this to happen, older people must be willing to take and make time to invest in the younger generation, and the younger generation must be willing to listen and receive.
It really doesn’t matter if you have gray hair or not, if your clothes have gotten a little tighter with age, if you are still excited for birthdays or not, or if you now wear glasses because the eyes are getting tired. You are needed. If you are 20, you are needed. If you are 40, you are needed. If you are 70, you are needed.
When’s your birthday? Mine is this month. I am thankful for all God has done in and through my life. I am also really excited to see what He still has planned.
- Pastor Gary Dornbach