Yesterday was my 49th birthday. I should be happy I still have another year before, as my daughter informed me, I’ll be “old.” But, since childhood, my birthday has usually been accompanied by a bit of sadness due to the fast approach of school and now a full church schedule. It’s not as though I haven’t been busy this summer. It’s been crazy hectic. But, at least I’ve enjoyed a lot of fun time with my family. The fall schedule inevitably means I’ll be in the office, attending meetings, leading events, counseling, meeting with people, etc. etc. ad infinitum. It takes a genuine effort to schedule time with Heather and the kids. Relate?
In this context, I really appreciated a deep theological discussion we had in our staff meeting yesterday morning. We were considering the implications of the doctrine of election. May not sound too exciting at first, but the end result was a much lighter spirit as I faced this fall. Why? Well, it’s all because my future is SECURE in the absolutely certain grace of my Savior, Jesus. Jesus has chosen to love me. No doubt about it. It’s a done deal. Sealed by His life, death and resurrection FOR ME! How awesome! Keeping Jesus first, all MY activities and interactions are secondary by comparison. All MY WORK that I feel compelled to accomplish this fall is not necessary to satisfy God. I get to do what I do just because Jesus allows me to share in the joy of passing on His gifts. My life truly is NOT a “have to,” but a “get to.”
It’s good to be reminded I’m NOT God. Thank God for that. I could never do what He’s already done. Through Jesus, I HAVE God’s love, peace, hope, contentment and joy. Now, I get to share those same things with Heather, the kids, my family, my congregation and everyone I encounter in the world. When I come up short this fall, God WILL forgive me and will continue to distribute His gifts to the world with or without little ole me. Kind of takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? I guess I don’t need to take myself quite so seriously as fall approaches. Instead, I think I’ll enjoy the certainty of His love a little more in this last year of PRE-old age … and even when I do turn 50 🙂