Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Significant Birthday

     It's a new year and I've just celebrated a significant birthday so "meaning of life" musings are top of mind.

  I've read through some lists of New Year's Resolutions and picked out the ones I like best.  JA Konrath suggests we all ignore his advice from the last seven years and concentrate on writing a good book.  I like that.  I'm putting it on my personal list. In Writer Unboxed Juliet Marillier offered nine good gifts for the new year.  I already have most of her gifts in my life, but I'm adding "writing because you love it and finding motivation from within, not because someone else says I should."  (Several years ago I decided to give up "shoulds")
    These two writers have offered some sound advice for the new writing year, but I believe the true meaning of life is love.  To give and receive love.  A few days ago we marked the arrival of the Magi at the manger, bringing love in the form of gifts and worship. 
     This week I've received many tokens of affection from friends and family as they celebrate my birthday with me.  The gifts are fun and much appreciated, but it is the expression of love that they bring that really matters to me.
     At Christmas, I hunted out the "perfect" gift to show love to my nearest and dearest.
     Today, I'm off to meet the newest member of my extended family.  Another being to love.  With me, I'm taking a quilt that my mother began in the last summer of her life.  She knew she would not live long enough to finish it, so commissioned me to complete the work and deliver it when the time came.  It has been six years since my mother died, and I've been holding that last token of affection in the cedar chest ever since.  Now, Mom's beloved granddaughter has married and has a daughter of her own.  The time has come.  The newest member of my family will receive a token of love from a great grandmother she will never meet -- and from a great aunt who hopes to be a constant in the rest of her life. 
    There is a verse in the hymn book that reads "for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies, Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our sacrifice of praise."  My newest great niece will know that love from "friends on earth and friends above."
    Princes and principalities will pass away, beloved family members will pass away, institutions and cultures will pass away, but love never dies.
     So, as I contemplate my advancing age and the meaning of life, I think my best advice comes from God's Word.

    8 Love is eternal.  There are inspired messages, but they are temporary, there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease, there is knowledge, but it will pass. 9 For our gifts of knowledge and inspired messages are only partial. 10 but when what is perfct comes, then what is partial will disappear. 11 When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child, now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. 12What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror, then we shall see face-to-face.  What i know now is only partial, then it will be complete -- as complete as God's knowledge of me.  13  Meanwhile these three remain, faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13: 8-13. Good News Bible)

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  1. i was going to say Happy 21st birthday, but then read that it was your Mom's great-grandchild, so figure you must be, what 35 or 40? Happy Birthday, anyways!

  2. Thanks for the birthday wishes and the optimistic guess. Suffice it to say, I rode the B.C. Ferry for free!

  3. happy birthday Alice and thanks for the post.

  4. Happy Birthday, Alice.

    Must be 39, isn't it? I was thirty-one and holding til my daughter hit twenty-nine and I had to bump my mother off thirty-nine. :-)

  5. Thanks for the birthday wishes. Some days I feel like 21 and other days it's more like 91. As they say, age is just a number. BTW I delivered the quilt and we all shed a tear or two so life in family is good.