Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.
— The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Today, by the grace of God and the love of Jesus Christ, I am turning 35. I didn’t do any celebration. After church, my wife cooked a nice Sunday dinner, and later on we watched some movies. But what we did most was simply to talk to each other, while we listened to great music by De Victoria, Fauré, Dvorak, Bruckner, and others.
In my country, Paraguay, marking the passage of one’s birthday is usually quite a celebration. People of means can hold barbecues for hundreds of guests, and it is extremely important that you do not forget to greet and say happy birthday to people on their special date. When I worked at the church, one of my responsibilities was the preparation of the weekly church bulletins. I cannot tell you how much I dreaded each beginning of a month; I had to prepare a list of members who had birthdays in that month. In that first Sunday of the month, those people were to be recognized, and most people awaited and cherished this moment. But woe of me if I made the hideous mistake of not putting someone’s name on the list! and sadly, sometimes that was the case, because our membership records were incomplete or inaccurate in some cases. Worse yet, some parents made noises because someone from their offspring was not included… only to learn that the kid in question was not a member, and th parent knew it, and knew that we put only members’ names. Also, woe of you if you are a standard worker, and you happen to forget your boss’ birthday!
What I have to say about my birthday is, that I am grateful to God for giving me life, for giving me so much happiness and opportunities, and everything good. And also, I hope to be a better steward of my life, to conform it more and more to the measure of the Lord Jesus Christ. I also want to thank every one of you. You stepped in with your helping hand, your sound advice, your prayer support, and your cheerful laughter. And this is one of God’s gifts; I can say I have dear friends, countless ones, known to me only by a TCP packet. Thank you, and God bless you all!
The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Psalm 34:22 (ESV).