This morning as I was figuring out what to do with myself today, I began to think about the significance of this day. You see, forty-nine years ago today, I was born in Johnson City, TN in Memorial Hospital on Boone Street. Forty-nine years ago this morning, a Sunday school teacher went running across Boone Street to the little church of Christ on the corner of Watauga Avenue and Boone Street and announced that his baby daughter had been born at 9:45 am. Sunday school began at 10:00am and I have no doubt that my father was not late at all for teaching his class. He may have been there at the last possible minute, but he was there, and more than likely, he was on time.
I reflect with gratitude on that Sunday morning. For though, my father did not live to see my tenth birthday, he has been one of the single greatest influences on my life. My childhood revolved around "going to church" three times per week. We went every night of the week if there was a gospel meeting anywhere in the tri-cities area. My dad, in his spare time, began going to preaching school. He also had Bible studies with any one interested in studying God's word. And if possible, my mom, two older brothers, and me, would tag along with him to those studies. Some were in our home, other studies took place in the homes of others. But for nearly the first ten years of my life, our lives revolved around the church and serving God. That really didn't end with my father's death, but it did change in intensity.
My mom continued in her church work after my dad's death. We also continued to visit other congregations during their meetings. We went to the area-wide singings that were held once per month. But we no longer, as a rule, were studying with someone on a nearly nightly basis. And in truth, it may not have actually have been a nightly thing. My memories are probably a bit skewed.
But the true point of this post is to explain that from my earliest days of life, I had no doubt Whose I was. I was raised to serve God, the Creator of the universe. I was named Lisa which means consecrated to God. My father rushed from my birth to teach others about God. I was taught right along with all the others who came in contact with my parents, especially my father, to serve God to the very best of my ability.
Now I'm not saying I have served my Father in heaven perfectly, far from it. But God knew my failings before He created me. He sent his Son, Jesus, for that very purpose.
I am most grateful though that I was born into the family to which I was born. I am grateful that my parents raised me with the knowledge of God. I am glad that I was taught to look for His purpose in my life. I am grateful that God knew exactly the parents I needed and He gifted me richly. So while most new parents talk about the gift that God has given them in the birth of a newborn child, it is nice, as an adult, to look back over my life and realize that my parents were a gift to me from our Creator. And that makes this one very nice birthday! And though my parents are now in their eternal home with God, I do hope that He makes sure to let them know that they are in my thoughts today and that I love them and am very grateful for them.