It was my birthday yesterday. I turned 26.
I love my birthday. Ever since I can remember, my birthday inevitably turns into a week-long celebration of friends and family I haven’t seen in a while who
adorn me with presents make time to hang out, take a trip together, or even just have a quick phone call to reconnect.
That being said, this birthday is introducing me to some very new experiences. Just recently, I began to notice that I had a silver hair or two in my beard. No big deal, right? After all, those pop up in toddlers every now and again…I think. As my beard has become more full over the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve begun to see more and more of these rogue strands pop up like wild daisies in a meadow. In fact, there is one spot on my chin where I can literally see nothing aside from white santa clause-esque whiskers poking out.
But you know what: I’ve come to terms with my new pigment-starved face whiskers. Primarily for two reasons: first of all, my wife is constantly trying to make me look/feel older and loves any wrinkle I acquire along with these new mature man hairs. Secondly though, I’m ok with this because they remind me of how blessed I’ve been over my life so far.
Many times people say that gray hairs come from negative experiences, and somehow associate them with battle wounds. For example, “I’ve been in this business for 37 years and I’ve got the scars (points at gray hairs) to prove it.” While I appreciate the humor of these well-intentioned, usually middle-aged, office-lifers; I don’t see these as war scars. I see them as reminders of where I’ve been, all the crazy blessings/breaks I’ve had, and what I’ve learned for future opportunities.
When looking back at my life so far, the amount of ridiculous grace, love, and mercy I’ve been shown has been far above and beyond what seems to be common. My life, wife, work, friends, hobbies, etc. have all combined into an incredible and unlikely story that has put me where I am today.
Who cares if these bring a few silver linings (literally) with them. If nothing else, they stand to remind me of how powerfully and kindly God has dealt with me to this point. No dyes for me. I’ll collect my blessings and wear them proudly.
Feel free to count my blessings next time you see me. Oh, and thanks for the birthday wishes. I really appreciate it.