Yesterday was my 43rd birthday. I had determined this year that I would maintain an attitude of thanksgiving and joy for another year of abundant blessing in my life rather than being pensive and overly reflective. I’m glad to report that it was a smashing success – made easier thanks to my incredible family.
My day was a pretty typical day at work – except for this awesome flourless chocolate cake that our dear friend Kristina made for me… wow – total radness… truly. I come home to a house decorated to the nines by a 6-yr old and a 3-yr old (with the help of their mom). Zoë (the 6-yr old) was the mastermind behind this plot to throw their dad a family surprise party. I was moved beyond words… the love that my daughters exhibited and the care that Zoë took to ensure that she had everything covered was such an incredible reminder of what we should show God every single day of our lives.
To top it off, my wife gives me this card that just moves me to tears. I reflect on the awesomeness of who God is to provide me with a wife that gives and gives and gives. There are no words to express what a wonder it is to have a family that so obviously adores you except to be overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed because I know I don’t deserve this kind of love. I’m overwhelmed because I know that I am flawed. I’m overwhelmed because it is God’s grace in extravagant form displayed by a young child who wants to cram as much as she can into one night to celebrate her dad. Even as I write this, tears come to my eyes (I’m kind of a sap… crying comes easy for me… too easy I often think.)
What does this kind of love do to you? When you know you’re not worthy – it compels you to be more worthy. When you recognize your own flaws – it encourages you. When you see the majesty of God as the root of it – it humbles you.
Forty-three isn’t really a “milestone” year – but this is one I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget how God compelled me to have a good attitude at what is traditionally a day of pensive reflection and rewarded me with a shower of love so magnificent that I’m still in awe of His extravagant display. Grace continues to be amazing.
Hopefully, you see in these writings a man who is staying The Course and pursuing The Path amidst the pitfalls and selfish ways of being a son of Adam. I pray earnestly that my writing would encourage some of you by showing you that this journey - though arduous and sometimes tragic - is a journey of great satisfaction. A satisfaction greater than our greatest imaginings. The trials and refining fire of tribulation are to be recognized as a small shadow of the suffering of our Savior so that we can rejoice, as Peter and the disciples did, to be counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the Name.