Today's Reading: Psalm 119:1-88
Every year, I look forward to my birthday.
As a child, my mother would allow me to determine my birthday meal menu. It was always the same: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, frozen corn, green beans, pecan pie...everything rich, comforting and deeply satisfying. Perhaps the food was an expression of what I was hoping for the next year.
And then there was the list of wishes: a new doll, a pair of roller skates that fit, a guitar, designer shoes or purse, or the latest album of my favorite rock star. As I grew older, I wished for deeper, more precious gifts: a tree to plant, time with friends and family, beauty, conversation and truth.
Psalm 119 was understood to be the Hallmark birthday greeting card which heralded the best birthday present ever. Jewish boys and girls would scroll down the page with their fingers looking for the letter of the alphabet which coincided with their names. Aleph, Bet, Gimmel, Daleth...
In my mind, my pointer finger touches the page until it reaches Mem and Lammed, the initials of my first and middle names.
Here the birthday card share the most lovely description of my birthright, birthday present...the love and the power of the Word of God in my life.
My thank you note back to the giver of the great gift is to live up to the gift's hope for me...meditating, speaking, loving the present more than life itself.
It is a birthday present which grows dearer and dearer to me with each passing day.
It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.