By Kathi Macias
I love Spring. Really, I do! If only April didn’t have to happen right in the middle of it….
When I was a kid, I actually looked forward to April. Why? Because the last day of the month is my birthday. And when you can still count your age on the fingers of your two hands, birthdays are about as exciting as it gets! (I have long since run out of fingers and toes to count on, even when I use my husband’s!)
My tenth birthday stands out as the most memorable. I had just learned the meaning of the word “decade,” and I was impressed that I would soon be able to claim it as my age. I remember lying in bed the evening of April 29 and thinking how my life was about to change. When I woke up the next morning, I would be ten years old—an entire decade! Wow. True, I wouldn’t be able to drive or enlist in the Army yet, but I was getting close.
Imagine my surprise when I awoke, jumped out of bed, ran to the mirror, and…nothing had changed! I wasn’t any taller. Hadn’t gained any weight. My hair was still mousy brown and straight. And my freckles hadn’t gone away.
Phooey. Maybe being a decade wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Then again…maybe things would change when I got to school.
Wrong again. I was still the last one chosen for the dodge ball team, but the first one to turn in my spelling test (and get 100 on it, of course). Boys still ignored me, and I still thought they stunk. (They did!) But at least it was Friday and I had my birthday party to look forward to the next day.
Well, sort of. My parents were never big on that sort of thing. (I was always glad I had straight teeth because if I’d asked my dad for braces he’d have laughed until he split his dungarees.) Birthday parties at our house did not include trips to a skating rink or a pizza place or even the beach. Mom baked a cake, made a pitcher of Kool-Aid (I got to pick the flavor since it was my “big day”), and then announced, “Now go outside and play with your friends.”
That was it. And it was no different for my tenth birthday than it had been for my ninth. But in spite of that, I felt different—older, of course, and certainly more mature. After all, a decade is a milestone, and I had hit it. I realized that by the time my next decade had come and gone, I’d be well on my way to becoming a senior citizen, but at least I had ten years in between to enjoy life while I could.
And so I continued to observe birthdays each April, and surprisingly discovered that arriving at that second decade mark didn’t consign me to the old folks’ home after all. In fact, I’ve now observed the passing of six decades and am working my way toward my seventh. The only time that bothers me and I begin to hate Aprils again is when I forget where I’m headed and why I’m here.
You see, about midway through my third decade, when I was twenty-six, I met Someone who was timeless—and I turned my life over to Him. As a result, so long as I stay focused on that Truth, I can look those passing decades in the eye and rejoice that my advancing age is scarcely a drop in the bucket of eternity. What’s sixty-plus years when you’re going to live forever?
So April isn’t such a bad month after all. In fact, I imagine God put April smack-dab in the middle of Spring and filled it full of blooming flowers and life-giving raindrops to remind us to enjoy the gift of today and the promise of tomorrow—no matter how many birthdays we might have!
Kathi Macias is a popular speaker, radio host, and an award-winning author of more than thirty books, as well as a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and “biker chick” (aka Easy Writer). You can find out more about her at www.kathimacias.com, http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com, www.blogtalkradio.com/communicatethevision.