Our pastor told a story this past Sunday about a funeral procession that is totally unrelated to this blog. However, I thought his story made a perfect title so I’m stealing it. Do you think I could get in trouble for plagiarizing part of a sermon? Seems dangerous. At any rate, I’m taking my chances. Aren’t you curious how I’m going to work the title into this blog?
My birthday was over the weekend. I’m thirty-six. I had a one of those birthday celebrations that lasted all week, lunches and dinners and even a birthday breakfast. My spouse spoiled me. My friends and family wrapped gifts and wrote cards. My daughter got me flowers. My sister bought me an outfit that I would not have picked. I loved it. I got a ton of compliments. I may make her pick all my clothing from now on. I ate banana cream cake with white chocolate frosting. I ate cherry chip cake with lemon frosting. I ate chocolate caramel cake with toffee frosting. I really must run more.
Last year on my birthday my mother informed me that I was halfway to seventy. This year she told me I was closer to seventy than to zero. I’m not sure if she just likes math games or if she enjoys seeing me stricken. It did cause me to pause and take stock. I made a mental list of things to be grateful for in my thirty-sixth year. Friends and family, health and home, Grace and generosity. I ran down a painful list of things I’d rather not be a part of next year; arguments and misunderstandings, imbalanced priorities.
So this whole birthday week I couldn’t shake the sermon story or the image of a big ol’ bike following a big’ ol Hearse. It struck me that frequently in life I do this very thing; put a whole lot of effort and money and time into chasing things that only lead to dead places. I’m going to focus this year on where I’m headed. How about you?