I think Rich Mullins had it figured out. His friends have said that Rich was ‘obsessed’ with having a big birthday party for himself. Many would think that ‘self-centered’ or ‘prideful’.
I think they’re wrong.
Let me ask you this: are you shy about your birthday? Do you secretly hope someone says something or remembers your birthday, but you don’t want to be the first to mention it? Do you fear you are drawing attention to yourself?
I used to have the same thoughts, the same fears. Over the years I have learned all those fears are rooted in insecurity, fear of rejection, and were in essence pride (I shouldn’t draw attention to myself). I used to go to a Christian concert around my birthday each year and would buy a group of 10 tickets to invite people along. I called it a birthday party for myself. I wanted to be with friends, and I wanted them to enjoy a night out with me at a concert we would all enjoy! What’s wrong with that?
I wrote something in my journal this week which makes me realize it’s totally cool to throw yourself a birthday party! I wrote “The God of the universe, my Creator, the one who thought I was a good idea…” Did you catch that? God thinks YOU’RE a good idea! Let that one sink in a minute.
Here’s my thinking: God does only good. After God was done creating He said everything He created was very good. He said that AFTER He created Adam and Eve. Thus, God thinks we are a good idea since all of us are related to Adam and Eve!
By now I won’t be surprised if the word ‘but’ has gone through your mind. “But you don’t know how I’ve messed up my life.” “But I don’t feel like I matter to anyone.” “But ___ happened to me and I can’t get past it.” Your thoughts and feelings are valid and not to be discounted. I’m challenging you to see past the immediate and return to what is true.
Yes, since we are all related to Adam and Eve (I’d rather be related to them than to a monkey or cosmic slime!), we all have issues. Can I get a big AMEN! Yes, things happen, things are said, mistakes are made and pain is real. Healing is hard work. Yet woven within those last words is the hidden morsel: hope!
Healing is hard work. Because there is hope. Why would we want to heal from whatever has happened (job loss, relationship struggle, financial challenges, trauma, etc.) if there wasn’t hope?
We have hope because of the first point: God thinks we’re a good idea! If we didn’t have hope, we wouldn’t care what happened. If we didn’t have hope, we wouldn’t be bothered by the mistakes made by ourselves or others. If we didn’t have hope, we wouldn’t seek healing and look for something better. We have hope because…say it with me…God thinks we’re a good idea! And that drives us in the core of our being.
So, getting back to birthday parties…if God does only good, and He thinks we’re a good idea (we’ve learned not to argue with God so apply that lesson to this concept), what’s wrong with celebrating His creation on the day He announced to the world He had an
other good idea?
What would happen if we start to see ourselves as God sees us? Parties celebrate goodness. Let your birthday party celebrate God’s goodness displayed through you! Maybe it’s not a party, per se. Maybe it’s visiting others to bring a smile to faces while enjoying fellowship. Maybe it’s time with family just enjoying watching the little ones play, or even getting on the ground to play with them. Maybe it’s lunch with friends, watching football with family, and a bonfire to cap the night. All those are how I’m celebrating my birthday today. They bring me joy and celebrate God’s goodness. No party hat required.