I know, it's not everyday I talk to you through a blog post, in fact, I believe this is a first. But this isn't any old blog post, this is one in which I celebrate thirty years of life on this Earth. Your Earth.
For a few years, I've written posts on my birthday on what 25 means to me - 26, 27, 28, and so on - and I've been very honest with myself, with you, and with all of my readers who spend a bit of their time each day checking out this super tiny part of the internet. And here I am, a cool thirty years old, and with such a round, monumental number - well, as so they say - I feel the need to pray to you, via words and this blog, in a public forum.
I have no idea. Maybe it's because it is a big deal. And quite frankly, I don't see "the big 3-0" as something of my own accomplishment, or rather some day to celebrate "me" as many often do. In fact, as you probably already know, today was a day of reflection for me. I rode around Brooklyn on my bike taking in the changes of the place that I grew up, and the changes that reflect in me.
It was a day to look back, give thanks, shake my head, and yes, even humble myself by acknowledging flaws, and asking for forgiveness. I did just that.
Lord, thirty is awesome. It's proven that the human brain fully matures just after thirty years old. I am not sure why you made us that way, but I'm looking forward to thinking, you know, completely for a change. After all, while many shudder about reaching this age, I'm looking forward to it - this is my prime! And quite frankly, without you, I'm not here.
I thank you for the past thirty years of health, safety, education, love, mercy, life, joy, and my absolute favorite part about everything that makes up who you are, forgiveness.
Lord, I thank you for getting me through and to my current life when statistics lean towards someone like me, being from where I am from, indicating that I should either be dead, in jail, or caught up in a vicious cycle of poverty.
Lord, I thank you for the miracles. When a doctor told my parents that I would never be "active", or at the very least, be able to walk correctly, you had different plans in mind which included playing collegiate baseball and leading an active lifestyle today.
Lord, I thank you for my mom, my dad, and everything that they have done. Their story still baffles me of how two immigrants with not much education are able to capture the American dream the way they have, and yet after such success, still manage to instill in me at a young age that YOU are the most important thing in life.
Lord, I thank you for my wife, who continues to make me laugh everyday, and who I can't wait to start a family with. In September, it will be four years of marriage, and officially 10 years together with this awesome woman. Insane.
Lord, I thank you for all of the wonderful people you have managed to have me cross paths with in this life thus far. Some are still in my life, some were around for just a cup of coffee, with the remaining being somewhere in the middle. There are those of similar age, and like this year, many who are much younger than me. But all of them had a reason and purpose in making me better, teaching me a lesson, and of course at times, showing me how wrong I am and how much I needed to grow in specific areas. I thank you for all of them, and of course, all of the relationships that are still active in my life today. And while we're at it, I very much look forward to who you have lined up for me in the future.
Lord, I thank you so much for your guidance and plan for my life. When I thought Midwood H.S. was the direction, you apparently had a purpose for me through Canarsie H.S. When MY "dream" was to go to St. Johns University, you introduced this small college in upstate New York, Cazenovia College, which overwhelmingly changed my life. When I had doubts and possibly a career change, you lead me right to my dream job in a position you are using me heavily in. Thank you for showing me that 1 Corinthians 2:9 is one of the greatest and truest verses in all of scripture. At least to me it is.
Lord, I thank you for your forgiveness. At thirty, I realize how stupid I was during my twenties. Just when I thought I had a handle on life, I realized I knew absolutely nothing. At times arrogant. And even worthless. I thank you for that. For those times, and for the lessons. I thank you for forgiving me for all of the dumb, stupid, moronic, idiotic decisions I've made thus far. And yes, there have been a lot as you know. Actually, a whole heckuva lot.
But most of all, Lord, thank you for well, YOU. Throughout the years, regardless of how near or far I may have been from you at times, especially those times (or years) where I lost sight of you, lost value of you, you were there. Your love and presence remained a core foundation in how and why I live my life. And I thank you for all of it. Especially, in a cruel world that does not guarantee tomorrow, you've given me thirty years worth thus far, and it's been such a blast.
I don't know what you have planned for me in the future, and to be honest, the past thirty years have shown me to not even attempt to guess, picture, or even imagine it.. There goes that 1 Corinthians 2:9 stuff again. Maybe I don't have another 30 years in me! Whatever it is, I just ask that you - YOU - lead and guide me. And from my journey thus far, your track record speaks for it self, I wouldn't want it any other way else.
Again, Jesus, I thank you so much for helping me reach a cool thirty years of living and learning - all by and for you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.