“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13 NKJV)
I had yet another birthday recently. It is strange how they keep popping up year after year. They must come from the same place as the grey hairs and wrinkles, because each year I seem to have more of them too. Still, as my body gets older and older my soul seems to get younger and younger, so I don’t mind celebrating a birthday now and then.
For some reason too this one seemed especially good. It may have been the chocolate cake and chocolate chip ice cream that made both my face and my stomach smile. It may have been the good natured teasing and hugs I got. It may have been seeing that childlike sparkle in my grown children’s eyes when they gave me my gifts. It may have even been the thoughtful gifts themselves picked out with such care. I think most of all, though, it was the gifts behind the gifts that filled my day with so much joy. You see, each gift was filled with the love of the person who gave it. Each gift was a package of love delivered from their heart to mine and each gift made my own love burn brighter.
The more birthdays I celebrate in this life, the more I see that love is really the only thing that matters. The parties you have, presents you get, or years you age aren’t important. All that counts is how much love you choose, share, and give in this world, because love itself is the greatest gift there is.
God in His loving wisdom has given each of us the two best gifts we can ever get: a life to live and the love to live it with. Let’s not waste them. Let’s not put them on a shelf and ignore them. Let’s use them instead. Let’s fill each of our birthdays and all the days in between with loving others, helping others, giving to others, teaching others, and sharing joy with others. Let’s truly enjoy these gifts God gives us from our first breath until our last sigh.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella