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Birthdays and Anniversaries October 14, 2009

Posted by vsap in Blogroll.
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Birthdays and anniversaries force you to notice the turning of the years. You may not “feel  different” from when you were in the prime of your college days or in the dawn of your career, but you are different.

You are “a lot different”.

If you started college in 1971 or your career in 1975, you didn’t have this venue, the internet, for communication. At that point in time you were 10-15 years from the first cellular phones coming into general use. You were begrudgingly setting aside your LPs for the convenience of cassettes and you didn’t have the intrusion of cable TV, not to mention a VHS player.

“DVD” would likely have been considered, at the time,  a worse form of VD. Nevertheless, somehow we made it beyond disco and leisure suits.

Working in the newspaper industry from 1972-2002, I saw some mighty changes. Hot metal to cold type, letterpress to offset, dedicated equipment with closed platforms to open platforms that, today,  make anyone a publisher. The upside is there is a lot more information. The downside is that there are alot of knuckleheads who publish nothing worth the virtual fonts they are printed with. I don’t mind that the “grey ladies” of newspapers have past or may pass. Just as there was a time when Chicago was served by a dozen or so daily newspapers, you knew there would be a time when it would be served by none, or one. With as much certainty we know it will cycle around again. What’s a Kindle (and it ilk) other than a more “portable” book or newspaper?

Form changes with the fleeting whims of the consumer. Function remains. Since that is true, we don’t have to worry about the knuckleheads ruining for legit news gatherers and opinion purveyors. But I digress.

This is about the landmark or watermark of birthdays and anniversaries. As I listen to Dave Grusin play “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”, it seems many in my generation have done this to horrendous result. I have found that as I get older I do get wiser but there’s not much of an audience for it. Young and brash trumps old and reserved in the rolling world. The “here and now” displaces the enduring. It would seem evolution has overcome creation in the hearts of God’s own. In 1971 I would have said, “This will not be.” And, yet, in 2009, there it be.

The first four years of marriage are the toughest until you endure the next six. But, after 28 years, you realize you have simply fulfilled the dream you had on your wedding day: enduring love.  A thing, however inexplicable, that endures in spite of itself and what we do to destroy it day-in and day-out. You didn’t set out to fail. You set out to succeed with all the baggage you carried into the relationship and some you picked up along the way. To be fair, you let some go, too, and you are the lighter for it.

This is not some kind of cosmic accident as some would have you believe. This is the fulfillment of divine design. If God seeks perfect communion with you, as he had with Adam and Eve before the fall, one way He shows it to you is in your marriage. On this earth there may not be a better example of it, even when it isn’t perfect. Christ can and should be transfigured in this marriage relationship. He offers it to us if we will simply accept it. But, therein lies the rub.

Selfishness, misunderstanding and caprice can be the destroyers of covenant. I have learned not to drink from their cups as often as I used to. This has been to my benefit and that of my long-suffering spouse, who is too forgiving to acknowledge my faults in a public forum. For that I am grateful. Equally, I’m grateful that she stuck with me when she was unevenly yoked with me for a number of years — carrying more than her share of the spiritual and emotional load. Those days are gone, chapters turned, never to be re-read except when urgently needed at a particular moment in time.

So, as you consider your own birthdays and anniversaries, cherish them. They are a gift of God. They are your gift to us. they are a gift to your children…and their children, should you be so blessed.

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