"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."Mark Twain
I turn 38 today. While my mother may have a story or two from my childhood to the contrary, for as long as I can remember I've never really cared that much about my birthday. For some (and you know who you are), a birthday is (or should be) a national holiday, but even if mine were, I don't think I'd care (they usually don't officially set aside those days until after you're dead anyway). To me, it simply is what it is.
Thankfully, God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, graciously granted me a daughter who shares my date of birth, which makes it easier to endure the fuss about the fact that we were born, as it's usually (blessedly) pointed in her direction instead of mine. Don't get me wrong: I'm glad to be alive and believe that every year – yea, every day – is a gift from God. But a birthday is like any other day for me. I just don't get the preoccupation.
I also don't get the fear of birthdays and what the accumulation of those birthdays represents. Our culture is so paranoid about growing older and puts so much into fighting (both physically and psychologically) the effects of aging that it's amazing we haven't collapsed into one giant heap of adolescence.
Children aren't taught to grow up to be adults in society; they're taught to grow up to be teenagers. Adults aren't embracing their position of elders in the world; they're fighting tooth and nail to get back to their glory days and not be viewed as old. (For more on this, read my post on Diana West's book, The Death of the Grown-Up.)
In case anyone's wondering, I have no plans to color the spreading amount of gray in my hair or trade out the beige Delta 88 Land Yacht I drive for a fiery red sports car. My goals do not include proving to myself or anyone else that I can still woo the ladies or that I can keep us up with the Joneses.
No, I'm content trying to act my age, even to the point of occasionally going beyond it in wisdom if/when God so enables. I'm more than happy trying to make better decisions about health, as opposed to merely ones made in pursuit of a more attractive body. I'm simply humbled trying to walk with God in a way that models love to my wife, children, and neighbors, rather than appearing religious and (self-)righteous.
So, I'm 38 today, and I'm glad to be so. I look forward to 40…to 50…to 60…all of it's gravy when you consider I don't deserve to live even a day, for "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5). From this perspective, I can say with honesty and awe that it's good just to be alive, no matter how old I may be.