Stairway to Heaven

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Well, another year has come and gone. It seems as though my birthday rolls around every three or four months these days. No wonder I?m getting so old. I ponder about how our way of thinking changes with time. When I was thirteen I wanted to be sixteen. When I was sixteen I wanted to be eighteen. At eighteen I couldn?t wait to turn twenty-one. Then all of a sudden twenty-one turned to thirty, then forty, then fifty. And, before I knew it, in the mail was a AARP card with my name on it.

It?s all a matter of opinion, this getting old thing. I, myself choose to look at it this way. Birthdays are just a stairway to heaven, and it?s looking like I?ve climbed about three-fourth?s of the way up. Life in itself should be celebrated daily. We shouldn?t wait for our birthday to feel special. Frankly I?m happy to be alive, no matter how old I am. With the passing of years I?ve noticed that along with the moans and groans that come from the aches and pains of old age there are more sighs of contentment and heartfelt laughter.

The years have fashioned me as a majestic old Oak. Standing proud and strong, trunk round and stout, limbs creaking against the wind, yet still graceful as they dance in the breeze. Slowly, but surely with each passing year I grow stronger, prouder, rooted more firmly into my beliefs. As the gray of winter shrouds me in a cloak of ice I may look dead, dormant and lifeless. The heavy snows of winter may weigh me down, but I will endure, for I know the season will soon change. The days will lengthen and the heat will bear down on me, filling me with warmth. My soul is awakened by the Robin?s song, and the sprouting of new growth brings fullness to my branches. I am old but I have survived yet another winter, my spirit sings. My heart is content.

That is how I feel as my birthday rolls around every year. On February 2nd Mr. Groundhog and I may, or may not see our shadow, but we?ll celebrate the passing of another winter either way. I?ll glory in the promise of spring, new opportunities and challenges. The harsh winter winds will blow our way, but God has fashioned us to bend as the oak, to withstand the elements, and weather the storms. Age may bring weakness of bone and flesh, but with each passing year it promises to deliver a greater inner strength, and wisdom that can only come from climbing one more stairstep to heaven.

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