Birthday parties for me were a thing of the past. I stopped having them when the lit candles on my cake started to look like the burning of Atlanta in Gone With The Wind. I figured it was time to quit before people began passing out from the heat.
No doubt the subconscious fear of mortality had a lot to do with my negative feelings toward birthdays. Then something happened that put a new perspective on my fear.
As a nurse, I was assigned to accompany a patient during his therapy sessions. I couldn’t help but notice that his limo driver was an unusually kind man. One afternoon, while the driver was waiting in the lobby of the clinic, a disheveled woman walked through the revolving door “Did you know that that woman is much more important than all the things we’ve been told are supposed to be important in life?” he asked me.
A decade earlier the limo driver HAD DIED.
“Did you know that to open a door for her out of kindness is worth more in God’s sight than if the whole world applauded you for being a huge success?” My curiosity was piqued.
It turned out that a decade earlier the limo driver had died. He found himself in a world that was permanent. Compared to it, our world was a shadowy, temporal place. As he stood before God he was asked the question, “What have you done with your life?”
“It didn’t mean what did I do for a living,” he explained, “but how had I loved other people?”
The man was revived by the medics and came back a different person. He no longer feared death, turned from his self-centered wrongdoing and made Jesus Christ the Lord of his life.
Jesus encourages us to live for things of lasting value. “Store up for yourselves treasure in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal” (Matthew 6: 20). So come my next birthday, I plan on celebrating. I learned what really matters and I’m going to light all those candles. Even if it means having an ambulance nearby just in case someone conks out from the heat.
What have you done with YOUR LIFE?”
Daryl Lach is a soldier at the Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois Corps and lives in Romeoville, Illinois.