Happy birthday to anyone whose birthday occurs when or close to when you’re reading this! I hope you’re having a blessed day! I know that’s a weird way to start, but it’s going somewhere. My birthday has already passed at the time of writing this blog, but it was on a Sunday, which had me thinking, “Is it right for me to celebrate myself and be celebrated on a day we gather to worship Christ?” I didn’t come to the truth until well into the day in question while I was thinking about it. That truth is that we can celebrate each other and God at the same time by keeping in mind that this was the day God chose to bring us into the world.
Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable telling people it’s my birthday on my birthday, it always feels like I’m forcing them to pay attention to me. As I’ve grown older, I’ve continually seen the day I was born as just another day and treating it like something special made me vain and selfish. Paul once wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the other.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV) I haven’t done anything significant and there seemed like more precedence to celebrate my mother for enduring nine months of pregnancy, hours upon hours of labor, and putting up with my bratty and entitled tantrums for 23 years. So why should I celebrate my birthday? I pondered this question for a good while when I finally came to a satisfying conclusion: because we also honor God in the process.
“In him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11 NIV). God created us, and He has plans for us. These are truths we know as followers of Christ. Every single one of us is a decision that he breathed life into the day we first opened our eyes, kicking and screaming. This year was the first time that it occurred to me that celebrating our birthdays didn’t have to be a weird congratulation to ourselves for existing, but it could be a celebration of the life God gave us. We can celebrate that He loved the idea of us enough that He set events into motion that would ensure we exist to proclaim His glory.
Celebrating the life God gave us and the plan He created us for allows us to glorify Him on days like birthdays without delving into prideful vanity. Perhaps this conclusion is an obvious one to many of my peers, but I’m just figuring this out, and I couldn’t help but write about it. God loves us and we are His art; that seems worth celebrating.