Today is my Spiritual Birthday.
That's right, my SPIRITUAL Birthday. One of the things I love the most about my parents, and how they raised me, is that we celebrated my spiritual birthday every year. July 19, 1983 was the day that I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, with what little understanding I had at the time. Of course, I was only 6 years old, but ever since then I've been on a life long journey of getting to know Jesus more and more every day. Sure, I've had some ups and downs during that time, but I'm proud to say that I've never really strayed from that purpose. I never went through a time of rebellion. I've always had a deep love for God, and a deep desire to know Him more.
If anything, I'd say my main fault was regularly allowing God to transform me. That's where I've struggled the most. While I strove to know God more, I didn't always allow His presence to truly impact me. Many times in my life I've kept God at a distance, at arms length so to speak. There have definitely been times of growth as well, especially over the past few years. But I wish I could have been a little less stubborn, and a little more trusting.
In years past I've done different things to celebrate. But recently I've tried to simply take some time to reflect. This morning I ran a few miles of trails with a friend, and now am home the rest of the morning with my daughters. This afternoon and tonight I get to work. This weekend I get to steal away with my beautiful wife for a weekend with just the two of us. So, my goal today is simply to live in the moment, and be grateful for all God has given me. I got time on the trails, time with my family, time spent working, and time soon with my better half. What a gift!
I leave you with something I've shared numerous times in the past. A wonderful gift God gave me years ago. It's my favorite passsage of Scripture from The Message Bible found in Isaiah 42:16......
"But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them--sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute."
What wonderful promises! God's given me so many good insights over the years through this passage. Today, on my spiritual birthday, I want to celebrate and thank God for the wonderful life He's blessed me with, relationship with Him, family, friends, His word, nature, trail running, an amazing church family, and for always being my "personal guide".
Father, I love you! Thanks for welcoming me into your family!