Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4, verses 13-14.
Today is a special day. It’s not every day that your youngest child is no longer a child, but that’s what today is. Today is my son’s 18th birthday. I don’t usually pick these verses out of order; today is no different. To segue from James, I have a few words for my new young man.
Live today. I’m not just talking about doing well in school, or making good choices, or even being responsible in all you do. Those things are a given. We’re talking about living. Submit to God, then watch Him get down in your life. These verses are talking about how brief life is, and implied in them is the message “live it.” Live each day well, enjoying and making the most of it, serving others, doing your best, and having fun.
Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t assume tomorrow will happen. If there is something you dream of doing, then find a way to make it happen and don’t wait. Prepare, be a good steward of the so-many gifts you have, and use your time here to live that dream. Don’t be controlled by anyone here but the Lord. God didn’t put you in our lives just to take up space. You have gifts, talents, purpose, and dreams. Develop and use them. God gave you life to live. Today. Not waiting for tomorrow.
Be thankful. Part of the book of James is a reminder to thank God for all He does. Be thankful and have a thankful outlook today. For the rest of your life, you’ll be an adult. Be thankful for that. Each day, I’m thankful for you, for being your dad and to now be your fellow man. Pass on that thanks to others by living in thankful ways for them. In doing so, you’ll be giving thanks to Jesus.
Finally, grow as a man of God. It’s a wonderful thing to grow up, and I would pity the man who wanted only to be a child forever. It’s a wonderful blessing to grow, but only if you grow in God. The longer you live, the more you’ll find that, to live in today being thankful, the only way to do it and be happy is to grow in God. Let Him lead you. Be in His word. Question Him. Follow Him. Ask Him. Submit to Him. Love Him.
I’m proud of you, Dillon. I’m proud of all you’re doing, and how you’ve striven and succeeded in your childhood. It’s a great start. Happy birthday son. God loves you and so do I.
Lord, thank you for my son. Love, grow, and protect him today and always.