Yesterday was my birthday, and as one of my FB friends with whom I share a passion for running put it, a celebration of my 52nd lap around the sun. It was a blast–probably the best birthday I’ve had since I was 12.
After yesterday, I’m convinced that all birthdays should be on sunny, 80-degree Fridays with a slight breeze. That way, you can take a day off with a minimum of disruption and simply soak in the pleasures of God’s creation and human innovations.
Actually, it all started the evening before with my first ever “skype date” with my daughter, Lindsey, who goes to school at a college in Iowa. It was great to “see” her and share some special father-daughter guffaws.
Another FB friend asked early on Friday if I had any plans for the day. Sure, I replied, I’m going to take the day off, go for a run, pamper myself and use the gift certificate for a full body massage my sister and her family gave me last Christmas, and later, go out to dinner with my wife, Linda. Sounded like a great plan to me.
But the Force at work in the universe that holds it all together with Love–dare we call that Reality, in this secular age, “God”?–far exceeded the plans I had for myself.
My dog, Bear, the friendliest half-Husky, half-brown Lab mix you’ll ever meet, joined me for my morning run. Pure joy.
The massage, by Amy at Shear Dynamics, was exquisite.
Another FB friend had counseled that I spend the day enjoying good friends, family and good food. So I headed next to IHOP to catch up on some reading while savoring my favorite: a garden omelette and pancakes, washed down with black coffee. Fantastic.
Next, I headed out to run some errands, but was interrupted by a call on my cell phone from an unrecognized number. Turns out it was a former K-State student from Norway, Kristin Pernille Boe, who called across seven time zones to wish me a “happy birthday!” Wow, surprises are great!
At this point, I realized that this was one of those days when I was being taken on a journey, a tour of blessings you might say, that was not of my own making. Time to just soak it in, and roll with the tide.
That meant heading home for an hour-long nap. Didn’t make it to the hammock outside, but settled for my favorite recliner with the gentle breeze blowing in through the open sliding door. Renewing.
Next up, taking a few spins around the yard on the riding lawnmower. But with weather like we had yesterday, and no pressing deadline to meet, this was no chore. A delight maybe, but not a chore. Work can be that way, really.
Dinner at the best Jamaican restaurant most people have never heard of–The Little Grille–was next. That, in itself, would have the highlight in a day of highlights, except that a few minutes after we sat down our recently-turned-21-year-old son, Nathan, who goes to college in Nebraska, surprised me by walking through the door! Really, can this day get any better?!?
Of course, with dessert provided by Baskin Robbins and Linda, it did.
By then, though, I should have known. This was a day that unfolded in such a way as to remind me of how richly blessed I really am.
But lest you think this blog is just the blathering self-congratulations of a eg0maniacal narcissist, let me share with you that I woke up this morning to discover that the grandfather clock in our dining room had stopped during last night, at 1:50 a.m.–a none-too-subtle reminder that our time on this earth has a definite endpoint.
Knowing that, it makes what are now birthday memories all that much more precious. And in trusting God to unfold a plan even more spectacular than the one we had sketched out for ourselves, we discover resources for living well that we all too often ignore or take for granted.
There is an old saying, “Man proposes, God disposes.”
So on this morning after, it seems good that we make plans for our lives, better that we trust God to improve on those plans and best to remember that we are not God.
May your day, and those that follow, be blessed!