In the greeting card business, when you tease someone about their age in a birthday card, it’s called an age gag. The card might have something like a birthday cake on the front with lots of candles and say, “Blow out these candles first. On the inside, it might say, “We’ll put the rest on when you’re done.”  Of course, we’re trying to say the cake could not hold all your candles because you’re so old.  I remember when my dad turned 80, we put 80 candles in a jar so he could have a visual of how many years they represented. Of course, he laughed good naturedly. 

Some say age is only a number. That’s true, but when it gets to be a big number, it means you probably see life through a different lens than you did some years back. I remember a song Bob Dylan sang that had a refrain that said, “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now!” That line is brilliant because it brings us full circle. It opens up our aging field of vision so that we see things in a bigger picture way than we did in those years when everything was daunting and critical. Now we can actually understand Romans 8:28 which tells us that “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.” That statement proves itself to us over and again. We look at things we imagined would be difficult, and even if they were tricky to navigate, we see that things came together in a positive way. Time brings perspective we simply don’t have with fewer candles on our cakes.

Age may cause us to seek more of what God wants from us now. Of course, God is with us all the time, but He likes us to ask Him to draw near. So, what do we ask God? We might ask for a greater awareness of Him, a revelation in Scripture, or to be more like Him in the ways we choose to love others. What’s important is not simply the request we may have, but the opportunity we take to be quietly connected to the Creator. Prayer is His communication method. It is the way we can share the desires of our hearts.

The beauty of getting a little older is that we’re finally in a place where we actually want nothing more than to know God better. We want to be guided and directed by His hand so that we can finish the race of life to His glory. As Erma Bombeck said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.

Smile on your birthday no matter what age you happen to be. If God has blessed you with another year, it is because He still has work for you to do. You are always blessed to be a blessing.