As many of you know, I recently celebrated a birthday and when asked by a friend, “Is it a significant one?,” I quickly replied “NO.” As is the case with many of you, within my cultural context, significant birthdays typically end in a “5” or a “0,” other than 18 and 21 (both numbers which I passed several years ago). So when the question “Is it a significant one?,” was posed, without even thinking, I quickly answered “No.”
This year, my wife, SupaLupaWife, threw me a surprise birthday party. Granted, by the morning of the party the game was afoot, but I was still quite surprised and humbled by my friends as they began showing up at our house. For me, birthdays have always been special. It’s not about the gifts, the cake, or the celebration of my life, but rather I have found them to be a great reminder of the many blessings in my life, especially family. And so, after a great BBQ meal, SupaLupaWife and I gathered around the fire pit in our backyard with our friends to roast s’mores. As seems to be the case, whenever friends are gathered around the fire philosophical questions begin to be pondered and so, that’s the backstory for, “Is it a significant one?”
Contemplating life in that moment, one of our friends said, “33…that’s a pretty significant year. It’s the age Christ was when he was crucified, also Alexander the Great died at 33, and Napoleon had conquered most of Europe and Northern Africa.” As I’ve begun to break in 33, I’ve really taken the words to heart and contemplated what a significant year this is for me. At first, I started down the path that so many of us would when comparing ourselves to such significant figures in history. Never, could I live up to what they’ve accomplished, but rather, I began to examine just what it is that I have accomplished in my life. If you are a returning reader, you’ll know that I’m the proud father of two little girls, perhaps my greatest accomplishment ever in life. I have also married my best friend, SupaLupaWife, which is my other greatest accomplishment.
I have also begun to contemplate the ministry I am a part of. Serving as a Youth Minister in the United Methodist Church, I have worked alongside numerous adults who poured their lives into the students they volunteered with. Each day, I find myself looking for new ways to share the love of Jesus Christ I know with the students I serve on a daily basis. As I continue to break in 33, I pray that the ministry I am a part of can continue to be my ultimate accomplishment. As John the Baptist shares in John 3:30 – “He must increase and I must decrease.”