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My Birthday


I have a confession to make: I think birthdays are stupid. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a good birthday party and I love celebrating people's lives. I just don't really understand celebrating that particular day. I get that it's the anniversary of a person's birth, but is that really an accomplishment? Isn't the United States of America one of the easiest countries to survive in in the world? We have debt, we have stress, we have adversity and I get those things, but how many of us wake up in the morning thinking, "There's a real chance that I don't survive the day today." This is a real question that many people in various countries around the world ask themselves in the mornings. It's because of this that I'm usually not very interested in celebrating my birthday. I feel like people are saying to me "congratulations on surviving in a country where it's easier to survive than any other country on earth!" It's not really that impressive of an accomplishment until you hit your 80's or 90's (then celebrate!). I also get celebrating the coming of age birthdays like 16, 18, and 21, but I'm 32 now. Who cares….

This past Sunday, I turned 32 and it was different. There's nothing special about turning 32. People might say happy birthday on your facebook wall but that's about it. With all of this being said, I viewed my birthday a lot differently this year. There are people my age and even younger than me who will not be celebrating their birthday. All of a sudden, it isn't as easy to survive and celebrate a birthday like it used to be. We can't go out to our favorite restaurant, people can't surprise you at your house, you can't give or receive hugs from family who came in. America isn't the most survivable country in the world thanks to COVID-19 and because of this, I woke up this past Sunday morning a lot more thankful to be celebrating a birthday than I had been in the previous years.

That morning and this one, I am thankful to be alive when so many people cannot say so. As of this morning, my family and I have no symptoms of being very sick. My wife and I are both still blessed to still have our jobs in an economy that is hanging on for dear life. I have grown up in a church where we sang a song that is repetitive and slightly annoying called "This is The Day". It is quoting Psalm 118:24,

"This is the day that the Lord has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

While many of us might feel bored or isolated in quarantine, perhaps we should be thankful for what we do have. NYC is living a nightmare. Italy and Spain are in a free fall. China is only just now seeing the light of day again. But as for me and my house, we are grateful for our home, our family, our health, our jobs, and most of all, our God. This is the day that our Lord God has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

--Casey Lankford