It was a beautiful morning for a bike ride to Lime Lake, after early morning thunder storms took out the power. I had to skirt one fallen tree on the path, go under another, and pick my bike up over yet another to get to my destination, but the effort was worth it. I thought with the psalmist, “For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands, I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord!” (92:4-5) This beautiful morning was another gift to me during my birthday “week”.
Is it just me, or do birthdays get better as we get older? Instead of a birth “day” this year, I’m having a birth “week”, or actually nine days, beginning with an early birthday dinner with my daughter last Wednesday.
Over the weekend I had a booth at the Arts & Craft Festival in Pentwater, MI. With the exception of some strong winds after 3p.m. on Saturday, the weather was perfect. I didn’t make a lot of sales but did make some connections.
Sunday morning, feeling discouraged by my lack of sales, I went to my psalm for the week, Psalm 92. It seemed that it was God’s birthday gift to me. Not only does it talk about bearing fruit in old age, “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon, they are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green.” (12-14), it says the wicked will get their just desserts, “though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction for ever.” (7) “My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies, my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.” (11)
I take a secret delight in this notion. I know what Jesus tells us about loving our enemy and turning the other cheek, but it feels good to gloat a little over the thought of my enemies’ demise. It’s a guilty pleasure.
The early Hebrew community had no such scruples. When angry, they give us the full force of their anger. They have no problem with leveling curses at those they consider enemies. Not only that, their curses often extend to the next generation, asking God to wipe out all of their enemies’ descendants from the face of the earth.
While not my enemies, I thought to myself, all those people with best sellers, where will they be in ten years, twenty years? They will be a flash in the pan while I’ll still be bearing fruit in old age . . . or not. Still, it’s a nice thought. My mantra most recently has been, slow and steady, book by book. They will get their just reward and I will get my just reward as well. It’s all in the Creator’s hands, which is a good place to be.
In the meantime, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.” (1-2)
What better way to spend my birthday week than giving thanks to God and enjoying God’s creation! Happy Birth Week to me!
What are your guilty pleasures?