This past Saturday was my birthday, and it was an amazing day; probably the best birthday I’ve ever had. Not because I got a new Ferrari, or a trip to Tahiti, but because there were so many signs around that day that made me very grateful.
I call my birthday my check-up day. It’s the day I use to recalibrate my mission, vision, and goal statements. So here is what I checked up on.
Check-up #1: Physical well-being. Saturday I ran a half-marathon with my wife Paula. This year we will run four half-marathons together. One of the reasons I do it is not because of the time. I could care less. I have to continually exercise and train for the events. It keeps me motivated.
Who knows? I may have a heart attack tomorrow. But at least I know that whatever happens to me in the future, I am taking good care of my physical body as a steward before God, my Creator, the One to whom I’m going to have to give an account.
Check-up #2: My relationships. On my birthday I had Paula, my daughters, my son-in-law and my future son-in-law around me celebrating with cake, party, gifts, fun, and picture-taking. It made me realize that at my stage in life, if my family thought I was a jerk, and wanted my birthday to silently go on by, I’d be screwed. It’s a joy to have the people around you that you love. I’m grateful. And when I do a check-up on my core relationships, they’re strong, healthy, vibrant, and growing.
Check-up #3: My fun-factor. I really do believe fun is important, not trivial like some other people believe. As a renegade for God, I have three creedal commitments: to live free (I find my freedom in Christ), to have fun, and to change the world. As a matter of fact, those are the kind of people who do change the world. Those who live free and have fun in their everyday life.
So for fun, on Sunday morning I got up and attended The Gathering. I mean that. For fun. It’s not something I have to go to, I get to go to. It’s fun to gather with other happy people. It’s fun to gather with other people who are depressed, mournful, suffering loss, the broken, the beat-up, the betrayed, and the bruised. Because I know that the hope of Jesus Christ is the answer to every problem and to all their questions. I see God do great things every week without exception.
Sunday afternoon, Paula and I hopped on our motorcycle, rode down to Columbia, Tennessee and participated in the Dirks Bentley Ride for Children along with three thousand other screaming Harley Motorcycles. How much fun is it to ride down one of the major roads in Nashville, Music City at 60 mph with a police escort? That’s too much fun!
Check-up #4: My connectedness. I was overwhelmed with the hundreds of well-wishes and birthday greetings. I’ve never had that many in my life. It leads me to believe that my life is open, engaged, and doing everything I possibly can to change the world by helping people grow in their relationships with God, their families, and the world around them.
Those are my check-ups on my birthday. If today were your birthday, and you had to check-up with each one of these, how would you feel, and what would you change? The good news is, you can change it today by simply making other choices, better choices, and smarter choices.