Happy Birthday!

Today's post is from my gifted friend and mentor, Penny Musco, freelance writer, actor, and author of Life Lessons from the National Parks. Happy Birthday, Penny!!

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things… Acts 17:24, 25

Today is my birthday!

Why haven’t I received your present yet?

What? You didn’t know? All right, that’s a legitimate excuse.

But now that you do know—where’s my gift?!

Just kidding. Sort of.

I blame my mother entirely for raising the bar so high for my birthday. After all, it was her (and Dad’s) fault that I was born in December. But she went out of her way to make a big deal of my birthday so that it wouldn’t get lost in the Christmas rush. For one thing, I always had a party. My most memorable was when I turned 16—Mom really pulled out all the stops for that one.

Sadly, as an adult, I still crave a lot of attention on my birthday. I get miffed very easily if those close to me don’t fete me in the way I think I deserve. And woe to anyone who sends cards or presents late! As I like to remind everybody, me ‘n’ Jesus share the same birthday month, therefore I’m extra special.

Okay, so His birth wasn’t necessarily in December, even if that’s when we celebrate it. But—bear with me on this—He and I are a bit similar when it comes to birthday honors: we both desire them.

Oh, unlike me, He doesn’t need the recognition. As the apostle Paul preached to the Athenians, God isn’t affected by anything we humans do or don’t do. His position, power and plans aren’t altered one whit by us driving ourselves crazy trying to find the perfect gifts, baking dozens of cookies or sending out hundreds of cards, nor by any of our other Christmas activities.

No, but God wants the recognition. Not in an imperfect, egocentric way like me, though. Incredibly, I believe it’s for our benefit! “Stop,” He says. “Don’t get yourself all tied up in knots. Look at Me. I came to save you from your sins and bring you joy. That’s what I’m all about. Honor Me, and everything else will fall into place. Because only in Me will you find the rest and peace and strength you need” (from Psalm 46:10,11; Matthew 1:21; John 15:11; 1 Samuel 2:30; Matthew 6:33).

The thing is—when we do that, we can’t help but exalt, glorify and thank God even more! Now there’s a tradition that should be at the top of our Christmas to-do list.

So really, forget about me and my special day. Save your presents—and your presence—for the birthday that really matters.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, --
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

--Heaven Cannot Hold Him, by Christina Rossetti

From one December birthday baby to another, thanks for sharing and putting things in proper perspective.


Cookie said...

Praise the Lord Family


Blessings from,
Valerie & Francisca

Nancy N said...

Happy belated birthday.
nancy n