My birthday is in a few days! Normally, when a person has a birthday, they want material gifts like outfits, a birthday cake or special treat to eat, or something that delights their fancy. After all, a birthday is a celebration of that person’s very existence! Though it is nice for me to have things like these, the things that I want most for my birthday are not solely for me—but for the whole world, especially those I interact with regularly. They cannot be bought at any store, but their worth is beyond anything that can be tagged with a price. The three things I want most for my birthday are:
- For the world to experience God’s love.
- For peace for the people around me.
- For people around me, both online and offline, to experience joy.
I want the world to experience God’s love because I believe that if they did, this world would be a better place. What do I mean by God’s love? Mainly, agape love. According to a source in the Wikipedia, theologian O.C Quick describes agape love this way:
If we could imagine the love of one who loves men purely for their own sake, and not because of any need or desire of his own, purely desires their good, and yet loves them wholly, not for what at this moment they are, but for what he knows he can make of them because he made them, then we should have in our minds some true image of the love of the Father and Creator of mankind.
In other words, this love is so unselfish that when someone loves like this, it is purely for the other’s benefit, not anything that they can gain back from the object of their love. Agape love is so unconditional that it will love its recipient, even with their flaws, and no matter what their actions may be.
Many people in this world seek this kind of love. Yet, many search, far and wide, for this kind of love, because of its stability and genuineness. However, they come up empty. They have a gaping hole in their souls where this love should be. Some have given up hope of ever finding someone who will love them like that, and either they will delve into bitter hate for this world, or have callous indifference to everyone and everything around them.
However, for anyone who has experienced God’s love, agape love, I would strongly encourage you to share it with others, because all of us desperately need this type of love. For those who think they have never experienced this type of love, that have only experienced “love” on the basis of merit or a trade of some sorts, know that agape love is out there for you. Don’t ever give up on this type of love! Agape love can change your life, and change this world for the better.
Another thing that I want for my birthday is for people around me to experience peace. (Yes, this also includes those who read this that I have never met face-to-face.) I don’t really like watching the news all that much because it feeds on our fears. It seems like every two minutes, the news reports someone being shot or killed. There is rarely any encouraging news on television, even though I know this type of thing does happen more often than one would think. Also, I see people at my workplace, my family, and even some of those that attend my church, carrying burdens and cares that have them on edge or worried. I admit that sometimes I am one of these people. However, when I focus on my blessings and what God has done for me, I am able to be much more at peace than when I focus only on my circumstances and the bad happening around me. I see how God is working, and how good can come out of a bad situation.
I would love those around me to experience similar peace. I want you all to know that things will turn out OK, or even gloriously, if you don’t give up. I would advise everyone reading this not to worry your life away. I used to worry so much about things, when I was growing up, that I did not enjoy life as much as I should and could have. Now, as I am learning to let go of certain worries and fears, I find that I am able to experience joy and peace much more in my life.
The other thing I want for my birthday is for people to experience joy. As some of you regular readers may know, I have struggled with depression for many years. It has only been fairly recently that I have begun to experience true and more lasting joy. I never want another soul to experience the depression I have battled with for so long. This does not mean I necessarily want everyone to get what they want, especially if their desires won’t really make them experience true joy in the long run. However, I do want people to experience lasting joy—joy that will last through the trials, the tears, and the pains of life. I want people to have joy that can triumph over every obstacle in its way, and joy that can last forever!
I want those around me to be able to have so much joy in their hearts that they will not even consider comparing themselves to the Joneses, and being jealous of those who supposedly have it “better” than them. I want those around me to have so much joy, that they can no longer keep it to themselves. –They are compelled to spread their joy, wherever they go.
These are the three things I want most for my birthday. I don’t want my birthday to only be about me, even though it is technically celebrating my existence. I want my birthday to be about spreading love, peace, and joy to others, so that my special day would not only make me happy, but would make those around me joyful as well.