Birthday Thoughts

I celebrated another birthday recently. As I sat down that evening with a belly full of red velvet cake and chocolate chip ice cream, wearing the new Hawaiian shirt my daughter had bought me, it occurred to me that I had already passed the midway point of my life here. I had already lived 44 years on this world. Statistically, I had about another 30 years left, God willing. Sitting in the quiet of the evening, though, I realized that whether I had 30 years, 30 days, or 30 minutes left I didnít just want to let them pass me by. I wanted to truly live them.

I have decided then to give up regretting the past and dreaming about the future. Both are a waste of time. The past is over. It taught me a lot and for that I am truly grateful, but I can only live today. The future hasnít even happened yet. Why should I dream of being happy in some fantasy, perfect future when I can instead choose to be happy in the wonderful if imperfect present?

I have decided as well to stop worrying about money and thinking about how much better my life would be with more of it. Looking back I realized that money had never once bought me happiness. Money had paid bills and bought stuff, but every bit of joy in my life had come from love. It had come from God loving me and me loving God. It had come from the love I gave to others and the love I received back from them. It had come from loving life, myself, and my neighbor as myself. Money may have helped feed my stomach, but love is what fed my soul.

That then is what I have decided to do with my next 30 years: just love. With love life is glorious and without love life is meaningless. Is it any wonder the two greatest commandments are about love? Is it any wonder that every great story, beautiful song, and well-lived life is about love? Love is what God created us for. Love is what we are meant for. Without love life is wasted. With love life is truly lived.

Look for me in the next 30 years. I will be the one hugging my children with loving arms. I will be the one watching the sunset with a loving smile. I will be the one singing along with the radio with a poor voice, but a rich heart. I will be the one dancing in the leaves, playing with my grandchildren, and petting my cats and dogs. I will be the one living with love, writing about love, walking the path of love, and sharing Godís love with everyone I can. I will be the one cherishing every single, beautiful, loving moment that I am given here.

I hope that all of your birthdays are joyous ones. I pray that all of your years are loving ones. I wish that you truly live every day you get here. And most of all I pray that you will take Godís hand and sing, dance, laugh, and love your way into Heaven.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2010 (joecool@wirefire.com) -- submitted by: Joseph Mazzella ]

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