Wednesday, December 28, 2011

49

I couldn't wait to write today, being away from a dependable keyboard and a computer screen for a few days. We're staying in Citrus Heights, with friends, and I woke up, ran downstairs and asked Mario to set up the keyboard...to his ipad.

I used to make fun of ipads, saying they were for the selfish and the spoiled: now I praise God for this one....

And I can't describe how conflicted I am writing this morning.

Today I am 49 - it is my birthday. I love my birthday and love reflecting on all I have seen and learned and lived through in the year. This year I am speechless...kind of.

In our world of tumultuous events, 2011 will be a record year of tumultuousness. When things are so dramatically painful in a year, there is a tendancy to downplay the celebrations. Christmas, birthday...an anniversary.

I had the best Christmas, and a very hollow feeling as well. I thought of a favorite poem this morning as I woke up: it is called A Confederate Soldier's Prayer. It is anonymous - alleged  to have been found on the person of a fallen confederate soldier at the Devil's Den, Gettysburg.

It was written during a time of great sadness and confusion, most likely written by a battle-weary soldier near the end of the war. It is a graceful, beautiful way of seeing that God gives us what He knows we need, not what we want. Today, I give it to you, all who are reading, as my birthday gift to you. May it be our prayer together today, one of thanksgiving.

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for but got everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.