birthday present

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

I don’t know about you, but when I’m asked that question (approximately annually, on average), my mind goes about as blank as my scorecard for pretty much every sport that exists. Although, food is always good, and if anyone wants to start planning ahead for next year, a rally driving experience day would be wonderful, please!

But then there are other things I want (we’re talking about in Life now, not merely the gift-fest of marking another year of ageing) which I don’t have to stop and think about. I would write you a list, but I’m trying to wean myself off lists at the moment. At church in the last couple of weeks, though, I have been reminded that God has said that even “good things” (and however much I want them, and however good they really are) are garbage – yes, garbage – in comparison to my pursuing Him. And that my best conceived plans are nothing, to what His best is for me. (I’m thinking of St Paul considering everything as loss to him – Philippians 3:8; Jesus’ teaching on prayer, that even human fathers, let alone our Heavenly Father, wouldn’t give a snake to his child who asked for a fish, nor a scorpion instead of an egg – Luke 11:11; and God’s promise to work everything for the good of those who love Him – Romans 8:28.)

How about buying presents for someone else, though? Do men seriously buy their wives vacuum cleaners for Christmas?!!! Last night, a lovely couple at church prayed for me, and reminded me again of the same thing God has been trying to get through my stubborn, stiff-necked skull for some months… That He doesn’t want any of my “stuff” that I can try to offer Him. I can’t wrap up any little bits of service for Him and hope He’s going to think, “Wow! That’s useful!”, unless… and because… He actually wants my heart. He wants me. He has got me, but He wants every single bit of me. He already knows my heart. He has forgiven me (which is no trivial trifle). And I don’t need to worry, because I know His love, which really is enough, and is certain and eternal, unshakable and unchangeable.

So, yet again, the only thing I can do, with any sense, is to surrender to Him and trust Him. Although, I am now sat here wondering if Jesus would like to try rally driving too?!!

I wrote this prayer soon after I’d become a Christian:

I thank you, Lord, for all you’ve done,
You died to set me free;
I want to show my wonder
For the life you’ve given me.

I’d offer you the mountains,
The earth, the sea, the sky,
I’d build a temple, dig for gold,
Give all that I could buy.

But gifts like that aren’t mine to give,
They all belong to you;
My gift is in the way I live,
And everything I do.


One thought on “What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

  1. Hey Giles, Thanks for this. Great to be reminded that it’s not what we do do do! Yes- I think we all can get into the wrong mentality in this area- it can be very subtle too. It can also be wonderfully liberating to rest in God’s grace and serve out of love and gratitude expecting no reward or gold star!! Reading your poem has made me think of my dear friend Lucy. She is a Christian performer who has a web-site with some great poetry- Lucy Wall Poetry. You may like it! Anyway, thanks for sharing this. Roxie.

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