Today I have lived 21 years.
Of all the people I could spend this mile-marker with, I am sitting alone in someone else’s house with their dog.
I woke up to a gray sky and squabbling snow. My own personal flurry. I hate having a February birthday.
The truth is, I want more. I want fireworks and trumpets and sunshine. I want my twenty-second year royally heralded with plenty of merriment and drinking.
There’s a check-list a page long waiting for me on the counter. Laundry, because Skylar pees when she’s excited and then gets it on everything. Dishes, vacuuming, guitar practice, class prep.
Things I could have done earlier this week, but left to the last because I was running away. More than running away from my responsibilities, I was running away from my heart, and God’s.
I begrudge his persistence in tracking me down, especially since he always does it by sucking the pleasure out of life so that I’m forced to find it where it’s sourced. Sprawled in front of Netflix on a 50-inch flat screen with everything from chips to cinnamon rolls to pizza and beer actually brings you very little comfort. Four days and four pizzas later, you reach your birthday and wonder why life sucks.
I haven’t truthfully been engaging life. More like trying to live robotic-ly, because robots can’t feel pain, but they can’t feel pleasure, either, so how can I expect to have one without the other?
Eventually living numbly proves worse than living painfully. Eventually my desire overcomes my apathy, and that’s when I’m able to pursue God’s heart again.
The truth is, I only want more when I’m not resting in his heart. Of all the people I could spend the first day of my twenty-second year with, I’m alone with God. I guess it’s his birthday present of grace, because I’m ready to feel again. I want to live. We both know there’s no better place to find life.
Do you know, it stopped snowing. The wind drove away the clouds, and the corner of the couch where I’m sitting is drenched in sunshine.
I don’t know why he does that, except that he wants life for me. He wants himself for me.
So here’s to the start of my twenty-second year of living! To all its bleakness and all its sunniness, to all my running and all his pursuit, to my want and wanting, his sufficiency and satisfaction, to pain and pleasure, and the never-ending knowing of our hearts.
Here’s to the desire to live, to that happy day of my birth, and this happy day of rebirth.