Well my friends, today is my 35th birthday, so I thought I would do an extra post.
Today was spent at work, school, and doing a myriad of other things. It was a long day, but one that I have grown to appreciate more with every passing year. Since I became an adult, I have had a weird relationship with my birthday. Some years I resented growing old, others I was upset by the ridiculous standard I had held myself to, and others I just did not know how to respond. But there is one I will never forget.
In January of 2011 I was working for a church in Northwest Indiana, and it was quite the experience for me. I grew a lot there, but not in the ways people may have hoped for me. This is the same church I found out my contract wasn’t being renewed at for a number of reasons, but the main one being they just didn’t trust my theology. But one of the memories that will stand out to me was my birthday that year, and not for the normal reasons that I dread or usually remember them for.
This was the year I had turned 24, and like today it was a Wednesday. I was recovering from a throat infection, and for some reason the night before I decided to trim my facial hair from a beard into a biker style handle bar mustache and flavor saver (I was probably stressed about something). I walked in wearing my black suit and black dress shirt and was hoping work would go on as normal. After all, I had only worked there for a few months and was genuinely confused as to why there were so many birthday decorations up. I asked my friend Jen (who worked the next desk down from me) what was going on. That was when she dropped an awkward bombshell. You see, what I did not know at the time was, the lead pastor (that is a current member of TGC Council Members if that tells you anything about the church) and I share a birthday. And (at the time) it was a BIG DEAL for him. Not that we shared the day, I was only a detractor from the main show.
Slowly throughout the day word got out that it was also my birthday. A few of my fellow admin assistants put it on themselves to give me a card and sing happy birthday around my desk. It just so happened that the lead pastor was walking out of his office at the time. . . it was awkward for one of us because one of us thought it was for themselves and not someone else.
It was not me that it was awkward for.
*End Spoiler Alert*
After the song he said something to me I will never forget.
It was something along the lines of, “George, I see you picked a great day to have been born.” He then went on to tell me how it was his 40th, and that his birthday is a big deal to him as a single evangelical man with no family. And that, while we shared a birthday and there was a bigger deal made for him, it was better this way because I had recently become engaged. So clearly, my life was going better and I should be the bigger person. After all, he made a huge deal about being a single pastor. But the weird part was, I did not care. I couldn’t have cared less, I found the entire event funny. I was meeting up with my fiancé the next night to celebrate and we had decided to purchase iPhones and a new cell plan as our first bill together to see how things went. In my little corner, everything was coming up Milhouse.
Anyway, I can’t believe I’m 35. I am sure there are a few people (myself included) who would have said it’d be a surprise if I made it this long.
In a few months I get to meet my son, and I have a feeling this is going to be one of the best years of my life (he typed cautiously).
Grace and peace.