A birthday reflection — do your best and trust in God

Published 11:07 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

With everything else going on, I got to celebrate a birthday.  In fact, it’s today, the 29th of January. Birthdays are nice; you get to hear from a lot of folks on Facebook and all that. But when you come down to it, it is just another number — another year to put down for having lived.

Or it can be a special celebration of having received grace for another year. It all depends on one’s perspective. I know people who absolutely hate their birthdays. I kind of like mine. But it can open up all kinds of questions — why am I here?  Is what I am doing making any difference? Am I truly helping someone or am I just going at it to please my ego needs?

Before my birthday we had a big snowfall. It shut a lot of things down, like activities around our church (and other churches).

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I prepared a sermon anyway, just in case, but then wondered why.

At that point I remembered something Mother Teresa wrote, which has since made its way into many a sermon: People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered — forgive them anyway; If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives — be kind anyway; If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies — succeed anyway; If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you — be honest and sincere anyway; What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight — create anyway; If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous — be happy anyway; The good you do today will often be forgotten — do good anyway; Give the best you have, and it will never be enough — give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Whether it comes to celebrating birthdays, examining why we do things, writing a good paper, doing your best for your children, wondering if you have lived a good life, it can be easy to over analyze and wonder if we have done enough. All we are asked to do is trust. 

I’ve grown to love that part of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians where he talks about his thorn in the flesh, and God tells him, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

In other words, whatever you feel God is calling you to do, do it anyway. And trust that God’s grace will be sufficient

REV. DR. TOM ROBINSON is pastor of Farmville Presbyterian Church. His email address is robin216@embarqmail.com.