My birthday is in six months.

I’ll be turning 30, and truthfully, some days I wish I could turn back the clock.

Attempting to bring back the past, however, and to chase the way things used to be, would only turn me into an Uncle Rico. If you’ve seen the movie, “Napoleon Dynamite,” you’ll recall Uncle Rico’s constant, selfish pursuit of a return to the glory days of his youth.

That, and his ill-advised mustache.

If we’re honest, we’ve all got a little of Uncle Rico in us: it could be the desire for a functioning body part or an old relationship or that favorite possession lost in a move. Wanting what was is natural, because change means loss of things that often make up our identity.

In contrast to Uncle Rico, a mature person is one who inspects their life and faces the truths about it, difficult or otherwise. That honest self-inspection requires courage — because it means accepting loss and then moving forward.

One Hebrew pastor states it this way: “One thing I do: forgetting what is behind me, and straining toward what is ahead.” (Phil 3:13). He wrote that way because the bedrock of his identity lay in knowing and loving Jesus: an eternal reality — not subject to change — unlike Uncle Rico’s, which was wrapped up in things that decay over time.

Birthdays will come no matter what we do. What we base our individual identity on, however, that will always be our personal right and responsibility.

 

Wilson Pruiett

New View Church

Stanwood

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