Pastoral Perspectives

Birthday Reminders

As my birthday neared, I started receiving emails from a few companies. Two of them stood out because it had to do with my image. One read “Happy Birthday to you. The perfect S shape contour awaits you…Achieve the dream figure you have always wanted effortlessly. Redeem Now”

The other one was more customized and personalized as well. It read “Happy Birthday Loli. Get your early treat from us-an exclusive V-lift facial from UK! Redeem Now”

Some of us may laugh over it like me but it is interesting to note that such companies know how to market and ride on the emotions of people whose birthdays are just round the corner. The emails have the same message for me. If I could put it bluntly, it would read
“Happy Birthday Loli. You are not young anymore. You are beginning to look old, wrinkled and out of shape. We have a solution for you. Redeem it now.”

It was not the first time I have been reminded about aging and eventually dying. When my children were born, I remember looking at their fragile frames and thinking how both my children would eventually die. I thought about their future as any mother would. Will I live long enough to see them finish their education? Will I outlive them? Will I live to see their children? The reality of the unknown struck me and I began to think about what I could do to ensure that we have the same future. Janne Teller’s quote “From the moment we are born, we begin to die” became very real to me.

Truly, each birthday is a year closer to my grave. In fact, every second ticking by is reminder that I am not young anymore. I will eventually die. This is the result of sin as Romans 6:23 remind us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We will all die a physical death but we have been promised eternal life through Jesus. What a blessing!

But it does not mean that I can ignore my physical image and resign to doing nothing about it (I know I have room to improve in this area). While I live on earth, I will need more than physical make-ups. When our spirit is down, no amount of external make overs can lift our spirits up. If it could, many celebrities would not have taken their own lives. If I was not a believer, I do not think I will have the will and the zeal to live in such a time as this. The knowledge that there is a God who has come into the world to die for my sins and planned my salvation is enough for me.

Whatever the world has to offer will have an expiry date. We need something that can stand the test of time; something eternal, something better than gold, something that can lift our spirits up, something that will not expire and something that comes with a reward.

If Psalm 19: 7-11 could be packaged, it would read:
i. It is perfect
ii. It revives the soul
iii. It is sure
iv. It makes the simple wise
v. It is right
vi. It makes the heart to rejoice
vii. It is pure
viii. It enlightens the eyes
ix. It is clean
x. It endures forever
xi. It is righteous
xii. It is better than fine gold
xiii. It is sweeter than honey
xiv. It serves as a warning and
xv. There is great reward.
Direction for use: Apply daily in obedience in order to get eternal life.

We live in a messy world filled with sinners like you and me. There is pain, suffering, death, destruction, terrorism, wars, natural disasters, diseases and closer to home, Zika infection has reached our shores. As we age, may we continue to grow in the knowledge and grace of God.

1 Peter 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

Ps Loliro Sani

September 4, 2016