Today’s my birthday. I just got off the phone with one of my daughters and she asked me how it feels to be older. I jokingly told her that the pains were the same as yesterday. It seems the older I get, the less of an adventure getting older becomes. Each birthday does bring with it a few more aches and pains, and a new crop of previously unseen wrinkles and grey hairs. But all in all, it is just another day on the calendar. Except for the fact that this one day brings with it special words of love and well wishes from friends and family. In fact, I was woken up this morning from the constant chime of my cell phone each time a new Facebook message arrived. What a wonderful reminder of the love of others. I am grateful and humbled.
While this day is really no different than any other, it does make me realize and reflect on the fact that there are only so many days left for me. I am in no rush to go anywhere, and I am in no way feeling like my days are numbered. But I do want to be a good steward of however many days the Lord gives me. I want to live my life well. I want to grow in my knowledge of His Word. I want to memorize more Scripture and seal it in my heart. Which is getting increasingly more difficult to do as the years advance. I want to teach God’s people His Word and help them discover its rich truths that can transform their lives and direct their paths. I want to serve sacrificially and selflessly. I want to give more and expect less in return. I want to love more deeply, laugh more frequently, smile more often, worry less, learn to be more humble, grow to be more grateful, serve without complaining, give myself away without expecting anything in return, pray unceasingly, trust God relentlessly, become more like Christ, and live with my sites set on eternity.
In reading through the Gospels this morning, I found myself in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. I was struck by the simplicity of His prayer as He faced the final hours of His life. He simply told the Father, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39 NLT). As I celebrate yet another birthday, I am struck by the reality of the thought that this needs to be my daily prayer. I want God’s will to be done. I have lived far too many years of my life according to my will. I have done things my way. And the results are less-than-spectacular. But the older I get, the more I realize that God’s way is the only way to live. That doesn’t mean that His will is going to be easy. It just means it is going to be right. Living life according to His terms isn’t an option for believers. It is mandatory. God’s will will be done. With us or without us. It is His desire that we go along willingly, humbly, and obediently. He wants us to trust Him and lean not on our own understanding. He wants to direct our paths. He wants to show us which way to go and how to live. But it will require letting go of what we want and embracing what He wills.
I may not be getting any smarter as I get older. But I do believe I am growing wiser. I can look back on my life and see how God’s will was being done, even when I was trying to live life on my own terms. At this point, I want to discover the joy of living in willing submission to His will for my life. The greatest gift I can get for my birthday this year is the gift of His will being done in my life. But like salvation, I have to accept it and receive it. So as I celebrate my birthday, my prayer is, “Father, I want Your will to be done, not mine! Take my life and let it be totally Yours, to use as You see fit.”