Goes Down, Around and Back

birthday cake

This has been a stellar week for me. My birthday was on Tuesday. I’m old but not that old. My son Jack thinks I’m old because I’m older than 21. I think I am younger than a lot of much younger people because I engage in playful activity a LOT.

“When you stop playing you begin to age.” – Steve Sjogren

A year ago at this time, of course, my birthday occurred again. It’s funny how that works every year about the same time on the calendar and everything. This has been a lifelong pattern for me so far. I’ll keep you posted on future developments here.

Last year I had less than 10 people outside of my physical presence in some way express birthday wishes to me. That may be a lot for some people. I didn’t think it was a few necessarily. I was glad to hear from about a dozen people. Nice stuff. This year that number was a staggering sum closer to 150 – no exaggeration (thank you to those who are still well wishing me who think my day is different than it is – I’m not legalistic – I’m pretty much celebrating the entire month of November!). Now there are some differences between this year and last. I have over 1000 Facebook friends — a lot more than last year. But the people who wished me a happy birthday this year were mostly ones I knew last year. Is there a lesson to be learned here? Yes, there is. Glad you asked.

Keep doing small things with great love faithfully.

Don’t give up.

What you sow will return upon you in abundance… (for better or for worse.)

There are universal spiritual-physical-relational dynamics we send into the universe that “Go around” and in time “Come around” to us. I wish this sort of thing were more scientific. It is a lot like quantum physics. There are rules to it but we don’t know yet how to explain them all. As far as I can tell it is not in the least a tit for tat matter that we can quantify or calendar in but it is indeed a spiritual truth that we can bank on in the long run. The good guys win. Yeah. The bad guys lose. Yeah again. What we sow we will reap even as Jesus followers – thus it is a good idea to pray for mercy on a regular basis in light of the misdeeds we have accomplished (committed).

Those of you who know me realize I am big on wishing others a happy birthday. I’ve been doing this for about 20 some years. I have done some wild and crazy things in the name of celebrating birthdays. Some of these things have been rather expensive even. Too much to go into here on a mere blog, but the years that I commissioned an artist to do original art and produce cards for several thousand people at my church on their birthday – GREAT IDEA now that I think of it. I am almost irritating in my enthusiasm about wishing others a happy birthday. I don’t do this with everybody but with some years — it could be you — I call them pretty early and sing them all a Bill Murray-style of a lounge singer with the vibrato Las Vegas sound. It sounds like a prank call at first. If you get one don’t hang up – it’s for real. If you live on the West Coast I apologize in advance. I happen to live in Florida where the time is always three hours ahead of you. I sometimes forget that it is 6:15 A.M. there. You’d be surprised how often I connect and am the only one who remembers the day though… That’s another blog perhaps.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all who in some way wished me a happy bday. You have no idea how much all of that means to me. I have teared up in my reflection of this in the writing of this blog. In my life, a sincerely spoken, heartfelt good word goes a long way. YOU’D BE SURPRISED HOW MANY OTHERS OUT THERE ARE LIKE ME! It is worth the effort to keep on keeping on in your well-wishing of others – whether bdays, anniversaries, or just an “attaboy” for being consistent at doing their job. “Like apples of gold in settings of silver, so is a word rightly spoken,” wrote Solomon. Hide that in your heart today.

The most interesting comment I received:
Scottish Pastor, I’ve never met in person who had apparently never seen my face except recently on Facebook: “Steve you look so young considering your age.” (When does feeble officially start?)

My response to him on Facebook: “Yes, the secret to my young face — I avoid Scottish bar fights like the plague — the kind where people bash your face in with their forehead then kick you until you are unconscious.” I think I’ll stick to Starbucks and sipping coffee!

Steve has spoken, mentored and modeled to churches and leaders around the world with the simple message that anyone – regardless of their gifting or experience – can be involved in bringing God’s loving kindness to others. His first book, Conspiracy of Kindness has been translated into several languages with more in the works. His first book has sold over 300,000 copies. Altogether his books have sold over 500,000 copies.