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April 13

Thursday, April 13th, 2023

Anniversaries are dubious.

I remember once reading or hearing someone say that I ought to be aware of anniversaries in peoples’ lives.  He explained that by illustrating it like this: Our lives are like a circle that every year repeats itself in some way. Take a tire on a car or bike for example. You get a bulge or a nail in the tire and every time that tire makes a revolution, there is a bump (at least until the tire goes flat). My wife’s car tire recently had a screw in it. She could hear something but could not figure out what it was. She asked me to go for a ride to see what I thought and as she got in to drive I took a look at the passenger side front tire. There as plain as day was a screw. Another half revolution and she would have felt it again and I would not have seen it as quickly as I did. There, obviously, was no sense in driving! Every time that tire rotated it made a noise.

People’s lives are like that. Whenever a significant life event happens, a bulge is made in the “tire” of life. Every time the anniversary of that significant event comes around, emotions and memories kick in.  That’s why deaths, anniversaries (good and bad), highs and lows hit us as they do. Knowing this principle has helped me go a long way in understanding people’s ups and downs.

April 13 has two meanings to me. Today would have been my late mother’s 91st birthday. I watched her breathe her last breath in March of 2004, about one month before her 72nd birthday. (Is it bad that I can’t remember the exact date?) She died of a rare form of lung cancer which, at the time, mainly struck women who were non-smokers (like n.e.v.e.r.). Strangely, there is not a glitch in my tire. Even though I felt the loss at the moment, and as I did her funeral service, I rejoice at her reward. She is with Jesus and celebrating with her mother and father.

April 13, 1975 was also the day of my ordination into the ministry. I wanted to honor her witness and faithfulness by being set aside for the ministry on her birthday. She influenced me so much to follow Jesus and was so “proud” that all four of her boys served the Lord in some way. 48 “official” years today. So given my years of college ministry while still a student and the year following my graduation, I have been at this gig for 50+ years. There have been ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade it. The call of God on my life has been sure.

I’m grateful for my mother. I honor her today because her influence still remains in my calling to follow Jesus and to encourage others to do the same.  TODAY IS A GOOD DAY!