Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Birthdays

Well, I turned a year older today. Yippee! It's funny how when you're a child the things you despised most (e.g. eating and sleeping) become the things you most enjoy as an adult. Conversely, what you could not wait for as a kid (e.g. BIRTHDAYS!) you'd rather do without as a grown-up. As you can see below even if you are an Asian woman who is genetically predisposed to withstand the effects of aging - the inevitable still awaits you.

The truth is we run from any and every reminder that we are getting older. And yet I've come to realize that this aging process is a actually a great gift from God. It reminds us that with each passing year we are all moving inexorably towards not just death - but towards the eternal. And these sober reminders often force us to ask ourselves the all-important question that we'd rather avoid. Brennan Manning says it so well in The Ragamuffin Gospel:
"It is only the reality of death that is powerful enough to quicken people out of the sluggishness of everyday life and into an active search for what life is really about."
If our wrinkles, body aches, and gray hair, did not serve as constant visible reminders that there will be an end to this life and world I wonder if we'd EVER even stop and ponder what might possibly exist after this life and beyond this world. Would we dare to ever peer beyond this life into the eternal in search for the one who is eternal? I doubt it.
famous pic of "sisters aging"
On my head alone I have hair thinning in all the places I don't want it to thin and thickening in all the places I don't want it to thicken. But I'm learning to be thankful for it. Because God is reminding me that this body is not eternal and this world is not my home. God is eternal and heaven is my home. And I want to live my life on earth in a way that is consistent with that truth.

So thank you unwanted birthdays. Thank you unwanted cancer. Thank you unwanted funerals. While none are desired in and of themselves they are gifts because they set us off on a quest for the eternal - they provoke us to begin an active search for what life is really about and in the end that is what really matters. If you find yourself on that journey I hope you find the answer. I pray you do.
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6
 In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

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