Birthday Reflections

Not long ago my wife, Norma Jean, had a surprise party for me on my 40th birthday.  I thought we were going to Derby Dinner Playhouse with two other couples.  Our friends Jim and Linda Broderson were going with us along with Jim and Lyn Engler.  When we arrived at the Engler’s I was surprised when I was led downstairs and there was a crowd of people.  The basement was set up to resemble a funeral service.  And  I was there to observe my own “funeral”!  Jim Engler was in a homemade casket that looked like something out of Dracula.  His hair fixed to look like me. 

Reggie Robarts officiated “the service.”  He began “man that is born of woman is of few days and sometimes 6’7″.   It went downhill from there!  It was a memorable occasion. Good food. Great fellowship.  Special memories.  A lot of fun.  A day I will never forget. 

Well, I have a little correction and confession to make.  The “not long ago” part?  Hmm?  That was 24 years ago today!  Sure doesn’t seem like it! Yet it has been 8,766 days ago! But I honestly feel like I’m 64 going on 40! 

It brings to mind the Psalmist’s observation, “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Ps 90:10).  I think as we get a little older we think a bit more soberly about the passing of the days.  Of course, none of us are guaranteed a certain number of days.  Someone quipped each day is a gift.  That’s why it’s called “the present.” 

But I kinda like birthdays. Birthdays are not only a time of celebration, but of remembrance.  Reflection.  Consideration .  A time to recall  the good memories of the past. Fun times with family. Fellowship with friends. 

Birthdays are also a time to reflect on the present– where you are in life. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. And spiritually.  It’s good to take a little time look into  your heart.  To access your faith. To examine your course in life.  

Birthdays are also a good  time to consider the future.  Where am I headed?  What changes do I need to make to have a better and brighter future?  Is my spiritual future one of hope?  What new goals do I need? What opportunities lie ahead?  What challenges can I meet?  What goals can I realize? 

So, when your birthday comes don’t agonize over it. Or stress over it. Or worry about the number of candles on your cake.  Accept it.  Embrace it. Enjoy it.  And apply the counsel of Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Following this advice will help us all when the time really comes for us to attend our own funeral! 

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Life

18 responses to “Birthday Reflections

  1. Pingback: A Note to my Email “followers”: Link to Today’s Post | ThePreachersWord

  2. Love this! I turned 40 last year & I dreaded it for months beforehand. Growing up, that age seemed like the “magic number” for when you officially turned old…don’t know why but that was stuck in my head for years. Now, it doesn’t seem so old. I’m no spring chicken for sure but (hopefully) I have many years ahead of me. It also puts things into perspective when I hear & know of people around my age who pass away. That makes 40 seems so young.
    I’ve also found that the older your parents become, that your version of “old” gets even older (hope that made sense). My parents are 65 & well, 65 just doesn’t seem as old as it used to. Even 80 doesn’t seem that old anymore.
    I hope to live a long life but yes, as the quote goes, each day is a gift. I really try to thank God for each & every day. We’re not guaranteed another minute let alone another year.
    Looking back, I thought my life would turn out differently than it has but I think the majority of people think that. It turned out the way God planned. My plans may not have been His plans. He has blessed me in so many ways & I choose to focus on that.
    Happy Birthday to you! I hope today is a great day for you & wish you many more!


  3. Judy Bertram

    I always seem to dread the “odd number” birthdays….why is that??? But actually, I am very thankful to still be having them. Thanks for sharing that story and giving some great things to reflect on.


  4. Barry Hudson

    Happy birthday, Ken!
    I will be 59 in May. Somehow, I thought you were much older than I am! I guess you are just more mature than I am.
    I really do enjoy your blog each day. I appreciate all the time and effort that you expend in sending it to all of us.
    Have a happy & joyful 64th!


  5. Thanks, Ken, for giving your readers a birthday present on your birthday! Hope you have a delightful day from beginning to end. I’ve said for years that old age was 15 years older than my current age and so far, whatever age I am, I’ve been content. Very thankful for the blessing of good health to this point which makes it easier to still feel fairly young.

    Jackie Bennett


  6. Aleta Samford

    Ken, your 40th birthday party was one for the history books! As a “mourner” at your “funeral”, I heaved heavy tears – literally – of laughter! It was the first birthday party I ever went to that was preceded by a rehearsal, and with Pam B directing the mourners, it was bound to be a hoot!

    Happy Birthday, Ken! I’m really enjoying your writings!


  7. Lillie Ramage

    Great thoughts. I have always said another birthday beats the alternative!


  8. Can’t believe you said, “not long ago,” and “on my 40th” in the same context. What is this, some kind of poetic license?


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