Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guest Post: "Happy Anniversary"

I have a wedding anniversary coming up soon and it has led me to contemplate anniversaries in general. There are lots of anniversaries that we are made aware of by others. Companies celebrate anniversaries of the years serving their community.  Churches celebrate anniversaries of their establishment.  Employees celebrate their years with their employer.  Some events mark the number of years that particular event has occurred.  And, of course, there are wedding anniversaries and birthdays (which really marks the anniversary of our birth). We seem to want to know how long things exist and take pride in the growing numbers. There are some anniversaries that we fail to acknowledge or even are aware of. Today I received the following note in my email box:
It’s your e-bay anniversary.
We want to say thanks and let you know how much we value having you as an eBay community member. All of us at eBay wish you the very best in the year to come.
Thank you!
     (And it was signed by the President and CEO, eBay, Inc.)

I do not believe I have received this letter in the past years. According to the attached certificate in the email, eBay says it is our fifth anniversary. (I have often told my husband that the anniversaries divisible by five deserve a little more emphasis – maybe eBay is in agreement.)  It did add to my wondering about the anniversaries we celebrate…and don’t celebrate. Are we celebrating years? Yes! But, we are really celebrating moments. A particular moment when an event occurs that makes a change in our lives. It may be the day we were ordained into ministry; the day we changed jobs or bought a new home. The moments that have been special to who we are. 

How do you determine what anniversaries to celebrate? What makes an event so important that you will mark it and remember it each year?  Is it a day when you declared your love for someone else in the presence of friends and God?  Is it the day that marks the death of a loved one?  We are the ones who decide if any particular moment is significant, important and notable. I wonder what dates were important to the men and women we find on the pages of Scripture. Did Abraham mark the date that God called him to leave Ur? Did Moses celebrate the date annually which marked the encounter with the burning bush? Did Mary yearly remember the day when an angel told her she was going to have a baby, a very special baby?  Surely, Paul remembered each year that blinding moment on the road to Damascus when he came face to face with Christ.

2014 Sardis Confirmation Class
Do you remember the date you declared your faith in Jesus Christ?  Do you remember the day you joined the church? Or even the date of your baptism? Is there an anniversary of a special call from God to a role you have answered?  Maybe you remember your confirmation or your first communion.   Is there any faith date you remember?

As I thought, I realized that I know when these events occurred, and with a few minutes to think about it, I can come up with a date for most of my faith events, but I am not celebrating any of them annually.  My faith and your faith largely defines what kind of a person we become. Our values and even our sense of who we are are largely defined by what we believe.  Our relationship with God should be of utmost importance to us.

So why am I not celebrating an anniversary date?

My relationship with God is so much more than a date on a calendar, and it is always changing. To be honest, was there ever a time when God was not in my life, even if I had not acknowledged it? How do I celebrate and mark one particular moment in that relationship?  I receive God’s grace every day. To me, this gift of unmerited love should be remembered daily, not just once a year. Maybe I should pick a faith event and celebrate it annually, but which one would I select? Every moment in my life is special and a gift to be acknowledged. As I celebrate living each day, I am celebrating another day with God and the blessings of that day. Today I have received more from God than I had yesterday, and I know that tomorrow, no matter what happens, God’s presence in my life will sustain and guide me.  

As I celebrate every other anniversary in life, I just need to remember that God’s hand was in each. As I approach a wedding anniversary, I believe that God had a part in me meeting and marrying my husband. We have kept God central in our marriage and family life.

Each wedding, birthday, children’s birthdays, etc. – are also a celebration of a moment where God is present in our lives; and each celebration in the future will be a celebration of his gifts. If we remember and acknowledge that in our lives, then we are marking anniversaries with God, and that is a daily anniversary we can celebrate!

Renda Brinson is the Director of Christian Education. She lives in Matthews with her husband, Earl and dog, Daisy. Renda has four grown sons, and five grandchildren with one on the way! If you enjoy her writing, you should check out her blog at

No comments:

Post a Comment