Celebrating Parallel Lives of Increase and Decrease

celebrating

Celebrating birthdays is something that I’ve never really looked forward to. I’m not sure why.  

I’ll be spending this weekend celebrating my 54th birthday. Although I’ve told my wife not to do anything special for me, I know she probably will. She breaks the rules every year by doing something for me or taking me someplace unexpected.

Each year we spend time and money celebrating another year of our physical existence here on earth but rarely have I heard of anyone celebrating the date that true life began.

I’m more than ½ a century old, as my 21 year old daughter takes pride in reminding me. I’ve fought off the typical aches and pains that come with the aging process quite well so far, but I find that I’m slowly losing that battle.

Celebrating another Year Closer to Death

My hair is gradually turning grey. I’ve manage to stay ahead of father time in this area by cutting more and more of it off. At 54, I’m finding that there isn’t very much more left to cut.

The days when I used to make fun of how long it took my parents to get out of the car in their old age have come back to haunt me.

In the things that I used to exude athleticism, I now struggle to find coordination. Injuries sustained in my athletic endeavors now take much longer to heal.

The body that I’ve called my home for the last 54 years is starting to show the wear and tear of time and there is no repairman who can remodel this dwelling.

I’m not quite sure when these feelings of entrapment by this aging body began, but they are certainly here now. The longer I live the more limitations ensnare me. The batteries that have fueled this body for so long are slowly running down and there’s nothing I can do to prevent the inevitable.

As my eyes grow weaker with each year and images become fuzzy I rejoice in the fact that just the opposite is taking place in my spirit.

Celebrating New Life in Jesus Christ

In all of this I rejoice, waking up each day with abundant joy knowing that the real me is growing stronger with each and every day.

Imagine what life would be like to wake up each day with more energy, with a sharper mind and with more stamina than the previous day. And what if this daily renewal came with the bonus of never dying? Sounds like life in a science fiction movie doesn’t it? Anyone beyond the age of 30 would surely be able to appreciate this vision.

This daily renewal of life should surely be worth celebrating. Yet, each year we choose to celebrate our natural lives of daily decline instead.

My physical birthdate is 02/15/1960. My spiritual new birthdate is August 20, 1983. The moment my physical body was born into this world, it began to decay and eventually death will overcome it.

The moment I was re-born spiritually, I began to increase. I began to grow, mature and develop a closer relationship with God. The “real me” is on a journey of increase. The real me is producing fruit. The real me is growing closer to the source of life. The real me will never die.

Misguided Celebrations

Each year we spend time and money celebrating another year of our physical existence here on earth but rarely have I heard of anyone celebrating the date that true life began. Most don’t even know when they were born again.

Our spiritual and physical lives are both amazing gifts from God. I fully enjoy my life. In fact I love life now more than at any other time in my life.

Regardless of how much I enjoy my life, I wouldn’t trade the new life I’ve found in Christ for anything in the world. I stand in awe of this life of privilege my Savior has given me. I stand in amazement of His love for me. I am forever grateful for the gift of life He has given me.

As I said earlier, I’m celebrating my birthday this weekend with my family. But I will spend each and every day for the rest of my life celebrating the new life that Christ has given me. A life that is more precious than silver or gold, or any gift that I will undoubtedly receive this weekend.

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