Then the Birthday Card Arrived
Dr. James L. Snyder
When I was young, I always looked forward to my birthday. I could not wait until it came around and usually it was in the summer. I distinctly remember graduating from the age of nine to the double-digit number of 10, I thought I had arrived.
When I hit the age of 16 and got my driver’s license and started driving around, of course my driving around was contingent upon my father allowing me to borrow his car. When I turned 18, however, I bought my own car.
At 20, I thought I arrived and had become a full-fledged adult. Becoming an adult was important until I realized how expensive it was to be an adult. Had I known that, I would have reverted to my sixth birthday.
Now that I am well beyond that magical age of 20, I am not so excited about birthdays. In fact, I would like to forget my birthday completely and how old I really am. This year I was making some good progress in this area.
My accomplice was the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage whose birthday is two days after mine. If we forget my birthday, she is counting on me forgetting her birthday. It all works out pretty well, except I’m not allowed to forget our anniversary.
Everything was going quite well and if anybody in any way suggested something about my birthday, I always directed them away from the subject.
For example, one friend approached me and said, “Don’t you have a birthday this month?”
Without missing a beat, I said, “What do you think of Donald Trump running for president?”
It had the intended effect. For the next half hour, love him or hate him, my friend went on and on about Donald Trump running for president. I discovered that if you want to diverge attention away from one subject all you need to do is introduce something political. And it worked for me. I guess politics does have its place in our society.
By the time he finished talking politics, he forgot his initial question. I had not and was glad he had.
I have now come to appreciate politics more than ever. Normally, I have little time or patience for politics or politicians, unless they can get me out of a jam. Most of the time these politicians are getting me into a jam but here is one time I out of a jam by using politics.
The thing I have come to and I get no argument from my “Better Half,” if you ignore or by chance forget your birthday in any year that birthday does not count.
Believe me; I am not looking for any birthday presents. I have just about everything I want and usually what people get me for my birthday is something I cannot use or do not even want. Therefore, the birthday presents are gone from my list of “Gotta Have.”
My thought is, if I can ignore my birthday, then it does not exist. After all, I have had enough birthdays, thank you.
What I like to point out to people who argue with me on the subject is the fact that a birthday is just a number. Some people are all caught up with numbers; I only like numbers in my checkbook.
I do not want to know or care about how old I really am. After all, you are only as old as you feel and I must admit there have been times I felt 192. I guess everybody has been in that category.
Age does not make much difference, except when I can use it to my advantage. Like when I go to McDonald’s and get a senior coffee. Then I bank on my age. If my age can save me a nickel, I will use it. Beside that, I have little time for how old I am.
I am hoping good old Uncle Sam has also forgotten my age. After all, when people reach a certain age, and I am trying to forget that age, he wants them to retire. Bless my heart; retirement is not in my plan. So, if I can keep my uncle from knowing how old I am he cannot talk me into some kind of early retirement. I plan to work myself to death.
I was doing quite well hiding my upcoming birthday when an incident happened. The mailman came and my wife went out to to pick up the mail. When she came back, she handed me a package and said, “Here’s a package from your publisher.”
I was so excited, as you can imagine. That is, until I opened the package. It was a birthday card wishing me a happy birthday along with a birthday present. Thanks, I thought to myself, for reminding me I am getting old. Now that cat is out of the bag and I am not sure what to do next.
Maybe I will celebrate my birthday with an Apple fritter representing each year of my age. This year I might be 100.
I like what David said. “Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come” (Psalms 71:18).
No matter how old I get, God will always be faithful to His Word.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.jamessnyderministries.com.