Birthdays and Reminders

Today, we celebrate what would have been Kane’s 7th birthday. So hard to believe that he would be in the first grade! Would he be reading books? Did he just finish a spring/summer of t-ball? How tall would he be?

It’s hard to picture – to me he’s hard to imagine older than the almost-three year old we knew

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These are just a small sampling of the one million random questions that pop into my head on days like today or when I see his cousin Tillie do something (she’s a few months younger) or see his buddy Walt (same age) at church.

Most days, I think of him and smile.

Some days, like today, it’s still hard.

But, I’m not writing so that you’ll feel bad for me and Jaclyn. I write to tell you what the hard days remind me of. Even in my sadness today, I am reminded of both the uncertainty and brevity of our time here on Earth.

Not to be melodramatic or even channel my inner Chicken Little about the state of current or upcoming affairs. The point is really to the exact contrary.

We aren’t designed to march around with “The End is Near” signs draped over our shoulders – even if it really could be! What we are designed for and urged to do is live every day as if we weren’t promised the next one. . . because, we aren’t!

If you had told me that I wouldn’t get to celebrate another Kane birthday, how might that have shaped the birthdays before that? How has it shaped the days with Kara, Gabe, and JP (Kane’s older brothers and sister) since then?

If you read this very short installation today, know that these three things are true:

  1. You aren’t promised the next breath on this Earth. Or the next one. Or the next one.
  2. If you know Christ Jesus in the same way that I do, and have a personal relationship with him here – then your next moment after that last breath is the first moment in a glorious forever. While we celebrate what would have been Kane’s birthday here, he could care less! While we wish he were here to hug – he wants to be nowhere else but in the presence of the Father! He isn’t looking down on us or with us in spirit – he is worshiping and in fellowship with the one true King!
  3. If you don’t have that personal relationship with Jesus, then your next moment will be the first in an eternal misery and torment. Democrats and Republicans, Vaxxers and Anti-Vaxxers, Free Spirits and Government Watch-Dogs, and even Cardinal and Cub fans alike will only be judged with one measuring tool – do you know HIM?

If you see me coaching this year, you’ll see that I have decided to trade my traditional number (#17) for a new one. During the next five years, I’ll get the joy of coaching both Gabe and JP in high school baseball. And since today (October 13th) is Kane’s birthday, I wanted a way that he could join the three of us for the ride. So 10+13 = my new #23 for the next few years.

With the reminder that Christ coming would be a glorious interruption to that or any other of my plans.

“For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” – Philippians 1:21 (HCSB)

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