I think I am in a rut. No matter how hard I work, I do not seem to be getting any further along in life. Could it be that somewhere in my past, I peaked and did not realize it? If so, I wish I knew about it so at least I could have the consolation that I have peaked.
This week I celebrate another birthday. This is a rut I am talking about. After all, I celebrate my birthday every year on the same day. The only reason I celebrate it on that day is because my mother said that was the day I was born. What if she lied about my birthday? After all, there is that issue with Santa Claus!
I cannot prove one way or the other that I was born on a particular day because knowing what I do know now it is very easy to manipulate paperwork and birth certificates. It might be old age, but I just do not trust anybody about anything these days. I do not even trust myself.
In the early days of my life, my parents told a few things that have proven not exactly true. I would not say they were lying to me they were just protecting me from the gruesomeness of truth.
I mentioned Santa Claus. The thing that irks me about Santa Claus is that now that I am older and have children and grandchildren I am supposed to be Santa Claus. Who in the world made up that rule?
Then there is the whole issue about the Tooth Fairy. It took me a long time to figure out that the Tooth Fairy did not really exist. Several times I extracted teeth ahead of time in order to get some cash from the Tooth Fairy. I frequently questioned why the tooth fairy was so stingy with his giving until I figured out that the tooth fairy was none other than my father, known for his closed cash policy.
Growing up in Pennsylvania one of the big factors had to do with Punxsutawney Phil. It took me a long time to figure out that that little rodent was not who my parents said he was. If he was who they said he was, he sure was not very good at predicting the future.
A lot of things my parents told me turned out not to be true, so why should I put a lot of stock in believing that my birthday is the exact day I was born?
According to them, I get to celebrate my birthday one day out of the year and a specific day that I believe they picked out. Now what I want to know is, why can I pick my own birthday? After all, it is my birthday!
While I am on that subject, why can’t I celebrate my birthday whenever I want to, why can’t I celebrate my birthday every month? After all, nobody gets tired of eating birthday cake.
Now that I am older what am I supposed to do? (I am not quite sure how old I really am because I am not sure my parents were exactly forthcoming in telling me the year I was born.)
Personally, I would like to establish a set of rules associated with “my birthday.” I do not care what other people do about their birthday, it is my birthday and I should be able to set the rules.
I think the first rule I would establish is, there should be no “surprise” birthday parties. If it is my birthday, I know when it is. If it is my birthday, I should be in charge of planning the party. After all, I know what I would like.
Who in the world started putting birthday candles on a birthday cake? I have been to several birthday parties and watched the “birthday boy” blow out those candles. After seeing him blow out those candles, I had no desire to eat the cake subjected to his spit-laden breath. After all, germs and I are not amigos.
Do not let this get around, but when there are candles on my birthday cake, I make sure my tongue is well lubricated before I start blowing out those candles. After all, I love to share.
Another rule I would like to put in place has to do with birthday presents. It seems quite hypocritical for somebody to go out and buy a birthday present, wrap it up in fancy birthday wrapping paper and then bring it to me so that I can unwrap that paper to get to the birthday present.
If I am going to have birthday presents I think I should be the one to buy those presents. Everybody who wants me to celebrate my birthday could slip me a fiver and let me go out and buy what I really want. Nobody knows what I want better than I do.
Finally, I think if it is my birthday and I am celebrating it, I should get to pick what year I am celebrating.
Good old King Solomon had it right when he wrote, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” (Proverbs 20:29).
You are only young once but you can be old for a very long time. I am learning to live with it.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, P.O. 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. His website is www.jamessnyderministries.com.