Reflecting on 36

I could reflect today on what fun it is to celebrate my birthday.

I could reflect today on what I have accomplished...or not accomplished in 36 years. 

I could reflect on how loved I am by friends and family in my life.

I could reflect on how thankful I am to be alive.

I could reflect on how it feels like time is speeding up, and the slow half of my life is over.

I could reflect on all my hopes and dreams for the future...

But, instead, I've been reflecting on this:

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

(James 1: 22-25)

And, this is what I've been praying:

Dear Father,

Thank you for 36 years. Help me run harder this year than the last. Open my eyes, that I may see clearly who I am becoming--and whether or not that is pleasing to you. I ask that you give me the courage to see my reflection for what it is and the grace to believe that you are forming me to be like Christ. Perseverance does not come naturally to me. Help me continue in it, to your glory. You indeed give freedom,  freedom from the slavery to sin, freedom to know joy, freedom to forgive, freedom to confess that I am but a creature of 36 years in the infinite wisdom of your Grace. May you be my all in all, today and increasingly beyond. Amen