HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME Andy Hollifield 4-7-19
Don’t let the title fool you, I am not that conceited. But to be honest, I love birthdays. I want to collect as many of them as the good Lord will let me have before I depart this life. I am thankful for every day of my 54 years. There are some days I would like to do over and some that I could have done without the events that took place. Even the worst of days, I am still glad I had them.
I have heard folks talk about how hard it is to get old and in a lot of ways it is. I am still relatively young but I hurt sometimes in places I didn’t know I had. Getting older is truly the golden years; it takes all the gold you can come up with to survive. The difference between the younger years and the golden years is where you spend your money. In your younger years it is high dollar rooms and expensive vacations in the finest hotels. It is also all kinds of things, such as boats, campers, nice wheels, and summer homes to aid you in living the good life. It is also paying big money for tickets to see big stars in music, sports, television and movies.
In the golden years, it is high dollar rooms and expensive stays in the finest hospitals. There are still all kinds of things, such as nice wheelchairs, eyeglasses, joint replacements, walkers, and nursing homes to aid you in living the old life. You still get to pay big money to see certain people perform. Medical specialist, therapist, surgeons, pharmacist, and the list goes on.
All joking aside, believe me I am not complaining. There are those who might think I should take things more serious; but why? The end result is going to be the same whether we laugh our way through life enjoying the journey or worry our way through life living in fear of what might happen next. There isn’t but so much we can do to change most of it anyway. I have read a prayer that says something like this: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” That was written by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971). It was used in his sermons in Heath, Mass. as early as 1934. There have been a lot of things in my life that I still don’t understand why they happened the way they did. Others, I have seen the way God has used them to bless myself and others even though they weren’t comfortable at all at the time. I just have to take Romans 8:28 by faith when Paul said, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” All things good and bad, for his purpose, not mine.
Looking back on 54 years of living, I have to say I have enjoyed my life and still do. When you have been where I have been with my health you realize that living is not something to take for granted. There are no guarantees. I have taken medicine every day of my life since October 6, 1983. I used to say I wouldn’t want to live if I had to depend on medicine to do it. That was a stupid statement from a young man with more mouth than brains at the time. Now I am older, experienced, and somewhat wiser and I happily pop those pills in twice a day and thank God for them. I remember times when paying for them was a serious issue so I am thrilled to have them. God has been good and still is. When it comes to birthdays, I will take all I can get. There has not been one day in my life that I can look back and say, “I would have just as soon died that day.” I’ve seen some rough days but I have also experienced plenty of grace to get through them.
As of 6:57 PM on Saturday, I have been on this earth 19,723 days including leap years. I am thankful for each of them and will take that many more if I can get them and the rapture don’t happen before then. If it does, I will be living eternally in a new body in a place where there are no years or days.
I am thankful for all of my friends and most of my acquaintances. I am also thankful for the ministry God has blessed me to do and the folks I have met and the places I have been. I am also thankful for the internet and Facebook. Because of it, I have got to share my birthday with each of you. I am rich beyond measure and today truly has been a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!