Thursday, June 01, 2006

Glass Fullness

I turned 44 today. Not that I think it merits too much attention. I feel more personal pride on Father's day than I do on my birthday in that I really had to do something to merit celebration, whereas for a birthday all I had to do was survive. Anyway, at 44, I am (Lord willing) about half way through my life - so the glass is either half full (Great 44 and 44 more to come) or half empty (only 44 more years to undo what I did in the 1st 44). Birthdays are a lot better when you have kids - my 6-year old daughter wished me a happy "day before your birthday," and they are happy with the cake and going out to eat as well.

I also reflect on days like this as to what it means to be the person I am. What is the significance of being the one in 6 Billion who fills my shoes? I think that the fact that I feel compelled to find that purpose or significance betrays something inherent in the human heart. The song lyrics that come to mind are:
Smiles mixed with curses
The crowd disperses
About whom no details are known
Each one alone, yet not alone
Behind the pain/fear
Etched on the faces
Something is shining like gold, but better
Rumors of Glory...
Rumors of Glory
(Bruce Cockburn, from "Humans")
When it is said "we are made in the image of God," I think this is what is meant. We are unique individuals, not part of an impersonal organism. We are beings of significance, not "just a bubble in a boiling pot," as Jack Johnson puts it. If not, then why do we scream for justice? Why do we long for love? Why do we yearn for significance and purpose? I think these are all "rumors of glory." My birthday hits home on this because it is "my day." I want it to be more than just a dot on a timeline, I want it to be more than just a nod to my survival. If I don't make it to my next birthday, I want to be more than a fading memory.

I doubt there are many who would disagree.