When I woke up this morning, with the sun still far below the eastern horizon, I still felt as though the day would be different. Indeed, it will be, since today is that terribly special day known as “Birthday Eve.” What is so special about that, you may ask yourself. Well, I’ll tell you: since I was a little boy, January 14 was a magical and wonderful day – I’ll talk more about that tomorrow – but I decided at a very young age that the entire celebration couldn’t be contained in just ONE day of the year, so I invented/created/discovered that there is a wonderful reason for me to celebrate the day before my birthday, known from that time forward as Birthday Eve. Granted, it never came supplied with presents or candles or special meals. In fact, for almost all the world – except for me – it was fairly ignored, and passed by without most of the world even recognizing it. That was ok, because it meant I had the entire “eve” to myself, thinking about today being the last day that I would be this age, or any particular age, and I could anticipate the fun of tomorrow. I know, I know – it has just been a fantasy day of mine for most of my life, but I say in response: why not? Why not create days of anticipation, or that are special just for you? It hurts no one, and puts no burden on anyone to do or say anything special, and yet it always has filled me with a sense of impending joy and something worth waking up for, and living the day for…
In case you were curious, here are some staggeringly important things that happened on January 13ths in the past: in 1610, Galileo discovered Jupiter’s 4th moon, Calisto; in 1794, the Congress approved the US flag to have 15 stars and 15 stripes; in 1920, the New York Times reported that “rockets can never fly;” in 1928, the first home television receiver delivered a blurry 1.5 square inch picture; and in 1979, the YMCA filed a libel suit against the Village People’s song, “YMCA.” So, as you can see, today is pretty significant day. When you add to that, that in 1957, Mrs. Ruth Cross late in the evening had a pretty significant belly ache that ended up with a sweet little boy born the next morning, then it’s a nice set of January 13ths, I must say.
What I’m trying to say, and what I invite you to try, is to discover, create, or manufacture reasons to celebrate or anticipate in your own life. We accidentally live out day after day, only sometimes wondering what the day will bring, or what it means for our own lives. Most of the time, we just take the days as they come, turning over one more day on the calendar, or turning off the alarm to one more morning where we need to get up, and simply live.
Ah, but those days when we anticipate something wonderful about to happen, or soon to happen, then there is another sense of joy that comes over us. This day will be different, because I see it as different, and as special and as exciting as it may be, even if the big event comes another day, and this is only an “eve,” or a couple of days before “it” happens. Imagine how different our lives might be if we greeted each day as a wonderful gift to unwrap, and a wonderful time to live!
That is what is available to you and me, on this birthday eve. Take today, and fill it with wonder. Take today, and fill it with gratitude for what God is about to do in your life. Take today, and intentionally rejoice, and enjoy all that is before you. I’ll even give you permission to be excited with me, as together we wait for tomorrow and an even greater celebration to come!
Word for the day: adscititious. Pronounced ad-tsi-TISH-us. It’s once again a Latin word, that has the first root as scire, which means “to know.” Adsciscere enhances the word, and means “to admit or to adopt,” or to add on as a supplement to something, but not essential. When something – either an idea or an action or even a thing itself is adscitious, it means it’s an additional something that was not part of the original whatever.
There’s an old saying that is akin to today’s word. It’s “to boot.” As in, “If you buy this item, I’ll throw in this other one to boot.” What it came from was traveling salesmen, who always kept another something in the trunk, or boot, that would sweeten the deal, or make the sale happen. Kind of like when you were little and got a toy or something in your cereal box. It was adscititious, to be sure…
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.