Wednesday, November 29, 2006

another year

As I sit here in my study it is almost time for the chimes at midnight to strike the end of my birthday.

A day of humbling joy, a day of cards and gifts and good wishes and generosity that has taken me by surprise. A day that has almost swept my heart away with the kindness of people and the love of God.

I have not been looking forwards to this day. It has felt like the end of something. But the sheer wonder of receiving so much from so many has made it feel far more like the beginning of something. Perhaps I have been looking backwards too much lately: so much, in fact, that I have failed to notice the beauty of the present - which has been the real gift of this day.

On the old organ at St Aldate's in Oxford there was a card with this verse from St Paul, and perhaps I feel the wisdom of it just now: "forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus".

And there are those chimes, right on cue.

The photo is of me and Matt, this evening, late.


chorus girl said...

Happy Birthday (late)! Sorry I missed commenting on the actual day, Marcus-- it's concert season here, and the only keyboard I've touched lately has been attached to a piano.

It's funny, but I don't feel so much older than you as I used to... :-) Seriously, though, I hope the melancholy doesn't afflict you for long. 40, as I recall, ended up being a very exciting year for me. You never know what God has in store!

Ricky Carvel said...

Erm, oops. Really did mean to send a card but kind of failed to. Sorry.

So Happy belated Birthday.

I hope being 40 is all the things you're not expecting it to be...

Take care.