Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. – James 4:14
I have two things on my mind this morning. First, my birthday celebrations over the past couple of days have been full with love, generosity, and grace. Then, today would have been my brother Geoff’s 63rd birthday. It’s been just five years since he passed away, and his absence is still very real.
1: THE CELEBRATIONS – Several birthday celebrations, the very best people, and my passion for great food all came together in beautiful harmony over these past few days. I’ve tried to be good, but I’m still not going anywhere near the scales for at least another full week!
Friday I cooked an epic seared cod with roasted potatoes and a date sauce over baby greens. Saturday our daughter Naomi prepared pork loin encrusted in walnuts. Sunday I enjoyed an epic Châteaubriand with all the trimmings. Then Monday evening good friends took us to Fleming’s Steakhouse in Raleigh, where I feasted on French onion soup, truffle-parsley mashed potatoes, and their amazing slow-roasted salmon on a bed of mushroom salad.
I know! It’s been the perfect storm of great food and wonderful company. I celebrated my birthday by enjoying life full-tilt, and in the company of good people. Then, to put everything in its proper context, I was privileged to spend the entire morning of the actual day – Sunday March 26 – in church. To begin my birthday in worship, with 500 or so wonderful Wake Forest Presbyterians, was the perfect affirmation of life.
So I am grateful, and I am full, and I am looking forward to this new year in my ongoing adventure of being alive.
So I am grateful, and I am full, and I am looking forward to this new year in my ongoing adventure of being alive…
2: My Brother –
Today, in recognition of my brother’s birthday, I’m having lunch with my parents. We’re going to eat British fish-&-chips, and we will share Geoff stories.
It was serendipitous, then, when one of these stories popped up earlier today as a memory in my Facebook newsfeed. It’s called, “How Did We Do? A conversation with 1959.”
The (short) post is built around a photograph of three-year-old me, and I’d like you to read it if you have the time. Then, after you do, I want you (and all of us) to think about the relationships you have with the people you love, and to ask yourself the same question.
You see, every new day is an opportunity to say, “Thank you, God, for this amazing gift of life! Please help me to honor you, and to serve you, through all of my relationships, and in all that I do.”
Today; on your birthday; on your brother’s/sister’s birthday; every day. Grateful, blessed, responsible.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.