Ah yes, ‘tis that semi-official national holiday known as my birthday. Today is an especially auspicious event as I turn the “Big 4-0” today. I don’t even remember turning 30 but hitting 40 certainly seems to be generating more melancholy. Given my eating habits I was never quite certain of ever living to 40 in the first place so I have already outlived my own assumed life expectancy.
As I look back over the last decade I have piles of regrets, some minor and some quite major. I can’t say that I have been an especially faithful follower of Christ in many respects. Sure I read a lot of theology books and I attended a lot of cool conferences and did a lot of teaching and “preaching” in church but in the areas that really count like loving my neighbor, shepherding my family and serving those in need I really missed the mark. I realize of course that my righteousness before a holy and sovereign God is not reliant upon my own efforts but I also recognize the dangers of and my tendency toward antinomianism in my own life.
Even in my blogging there has been an enormous shift from my first post on March 19th, 2004 to today. Seven and a half years ago I was quite a bit more concerned with Reformed theology, why infant baptism was wrong and why invading Iraq was right. Today I am more concerned with expressing good theology through unity, I still think it is wrong to “baptize” infants and I wish we had never gone into Iraq. I hope that the tone of my blog is more gracious, although I always reserve the right to be snarky and sarcastic where appropriate. Not everyone will agree with me on my timing of course!
As much as I have matured, I am often still grieved at how far I fall short and thank God for His grace toward me. I am not any more deserving of that grace today than I was a decade ago and my paltry baby steps toward maturity in the faith seem awfully pitiful. Through continued prayer, study and fellowship it is my fervent hope that I will grow closer to Him in my walk and my heart.
Anyway, I enjoyed my complimentary birthday breakfast at our favorite little family restaurant with my wife and oldest daughter this morning, I get to come to work to provide for my family today and tonight I get to minister at the pregnancy resource center. I will return home this evening to a house full of children who have a nice place to live, plenty of clothing to wear and always enough food to eat. All more than I deserve. Here’s to the next decade, may it bring more glory to God than the last and may He increase while I decrease.
Soli Deo Gloria!