I’d like to share a post with you recently written by my younger brother on his birthday. His life is a story of God’s grace (Isn’t that true for all of us?). After spending about 35 years battling drug addiction, God got hold of his life, and he turned back to Him. He wrote a book highlighting part of his journey called The Baker: Prelude. My brother writes to encourage people through a regular post called Dave’s Double Dose. I thought you’d enjoy reading his most recent post. You may want to subscribe to his so you can regularly read what he shares. You’ll find out how at the conclusion of his article.
Dave’s Double Dose
Another year has passed! I’m reminded by all the aches and pains of age. I’m reminded by all the scars borne on my body. I’m reminded by regrets that sometimes hound my every step. I am now on the downward slope of the upper 50’s. 55 has now come and gone. 56 has arrived! (Technically, it arrived at 2:08 a.m).
Some people don’t celebrate birthdays. Some people even think it is wrong. I would argue differently. Over and over, God commands the Israelites to celebrate once a year to commemorate an important day with event-specific festivities of one sort or another. The Passover Festival is not complete without the unleavened bread. “Why,” you might ask. The Jews, upon being told they could leave Egypt, packed so fast, their bread being proofed didn’t have a chance to rise! So, today, maybe I’ll have a slice of non-diet cake to celebrate my arrival on this earth. After all, I loved cake when I was a child … still do.
For the prescribed festivals, there was a national event for the Israelites to celebrate. They must remember God’s active hand at work in their nation’s history. I’m but a single individual, but, like the Israelites before me, I should set aside specific days for personal remembrance of God’s active hand in my life.
My Birthday: February 15th – I will celebrate with great fanfare, for this is the day I was brought kicking and screaming into the brutal realities of this world. It is a reminder of the spark of life granted to me nine months earlier – made in love, created with a purpose! It is a foundational moment of my life that God purposed a calling that I would one day answer. So, I will remember this day.
½ Birthday: August 15th – (had to get an extra day. Lol). This is a celebration of all that God taught me along the way when I wasn’t necessarily paying attention to Him. He gave me opportunities to learn. I will celebrate this day by reading a book. It will remind me of all the lessons I realized despite my intransigence.
Mother’s Birthday: November 11th – Yes, this is a day to remember all those people in my life who prayed for me continuously. Where would I be without those prayers?! I will commemorate this day with a day of prayer – praying for others, even as others prayed for me.
The Need of Repentance Day: January 26th – This is the date of a brutal assault that almost took my life. God had had enough. He removed His hand of protection somewhat from me and allowed my actions to bear the fruit they so richly deserved truly. I will remember by focusing on my actions and attitudes that bring about sin in my life, and I will fast and repent and not wait three months to do so.
Festival of the Boots and Backpack – April 22nd – 26th – That’s the date I left my hometown on foot. It is a day to celebrate the radical alteration of my faith by His hands. I have the boots, I have the backpack, I have the shirt, and I have the pink fuzzy socks – all provided by God on my Journey of Faith. I will celebrate with a Chick-fil-A meal and a pop-top can of pork and beans and seek Him to reignite that passion He set on fire during that journey. (If you don’t get this, read the book).
Rest Day: April 26th – The end of my Journey reminds me to rest in him. Wrapping up the Festival of the Boots and Backpack, I will celebrate by spending the day with Him – resting in His Grace. It is a reminder that without Him, I will never be at peace.
Action Day: May 2nd – I hit the ground running after the Journey of Faith and began Dave’s Daily Dose. On this day, I will remember that He has given me a task and a purpose that I must pursue with my whole heart. I wasn’t just called to “sit on the bench.” I was called into an active partnership with my Heavenly Father. I must never be passive in my service to my King. I will mark this day every year with a special event to reach those who are lost to underscore every other day when I should be doing the same thing – a day to celebrate all other days to reach the lost at any cost.
I started typing and realized how many festivals I should have. The list could go on and on!!
How will you celebrate God’s active hand in your life? Talk to Him, figure it out, and do it!