The Red Plate of Tradition

Goodbye May. May was a weird month. Actually, this whole year has been a unique year and I for one am happy that we are in the sixth month already.

I remember when I was young  and spent the first five months of the year waiting anxiously for June to arrive. Not just because June meant that school was almost out, but because June is the month in which I was born, and each morning I would mark off the calendar anxiously waiting for the big day. It wasn’t that my family did extravagant things on birthdays. In fact, it was quite the opposite, I don’t know that I ever had a traditional birthday party with friends and balloons. No, birthdays were for family and we got to pick the meal mom cooked and the day was spent with the most important people in our lives. (Dad, Mom and siblings) The day was always special but not overdone. And with the exception of my 14th birthday, it was always perfect!  I think truly the thing that was so exciting was that I got to eat off the special red plate that was reserved for birthdays.

I am not sure how my parents came up with the red plate idea but it is one of those childhood traditions that has embedded itself in my memory as something that made me feel special.

Last night I was in the grocery store and overheard a conversation between the couple in front of me, I was trying not to listen, but the tone and volume of their words made it hard not to hear. They were discussing their child’s upcoming birthday and the mom was stressed out and overwhelmed, dad wasn’t responding in kind until mom announced that the party had already cost over $1,500.

As I sat this morning reflecting on the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and how He, without hesitation gave up his life for me and you, it made me a little sad to realize that in this day and age of expectation and selfish gimmeeisms, we are often hard pressed to find people who are willing to set aside the things they want, in order to meet the needs of another. Is it because we are raising our kids in an environment where we will spend thousands of dollars for a seven-year old’s birthday party that she won’t remember in a few years? Simply because it is what she expects? Or is it deeper than that.

Isaiah 55:2 says “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.”

Today is the first day of June. This year, instead of marking off the days until my birthday, I am going to find a way to bless someone each day this month, perhaps that will help me develop a habit that will continue throughout the rest of my life.


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