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By Nick P.

It is no coincidence that I am writing this at this time. My birthday is coming up soon on September 19, 2003. I will be 23 then. (Oh yeah! That Smallville Season 1 DVD will be mine also! WOO HOO!) After a deep study in the area of apologetics, birthdays mean more to me than before.

Consider the wonder of it. Every birthday is a celebration of God's creation in the world. God brings something into existence from non-existence. An entity that wasn't there before is formed in its entirety. The 6th day happens all over again except that dust is not used directly and you are created an infant.

One of my professors said something the other day about the soul and sexuality. Our soul is formed when we are conceived through the act of sex. In his words, "God doesn't drop a little gumball from Heaven with your soul in it down when your parents do it." (Yes. Those were his words.)

This is something that has been said by many including the Mormons. I do believe God knows us before we are born but our creations are unique. Our bodies and souls are woven together and neither is entirely complete without the other. Christianity is the worldview that shocked its listeners by saying the body was a good thing. The gnostics and docetics couldn't take that.

But you think of having this whole new world to explore. A child learns in wonder and too often we lose that wonder as we go along. Life becomes boring and mundane. G.K. Chesterton said we don't live in elfland enough. I have sometimes wondered being an avid gamer before if what I play makes reality look boring. Lately, I've been pondering the opposite.

I don't see myself ceasing to be a gamer but I began thinking that truth is often stranger than fiction. In many games you are a hero or a group of heroes stopping an evil force from doing something of a hideous nature be it rescuing a princess or saving the world.

In reality though, we are constantly caught in a battlefield we don't even say. It could be that while I am writing this angels and demons are fighting all around me that I can't even see. Warfare is going on. Perchance Satan is sending his own demons to harrass me and God is countering with his angels. Who knows what is going on in the spiritual realm but I seriously doubt that it's stagnant.

I cannot say for sure but I do believe reality is an adventure. We are caught in a war. We as Christians know this for sure. Just like Morpheus said in the Matrix about the people in the Matrix. "These are the people we are fighting to protect but they are also the enemies." We know on this second anniversary of 9-11 that we are fighting for the souls of Muslims but Muslims are also fighting against us, the ones that can show them the light.

But I also think of a second birth. I think of the birth from sinner to saint. The glorious and completed work at the cross where God gives you his Spirit and you become a new creation. I will tell you I have questioned this event in my life at times but I also see changes in my life. I see an increasing awareness of the sin nature within me, a greater desire to please God, and a change in my attitudes towards even my enemies.

What a marvelous move takes place. God takes you into a family that you don't deserve anything from and gives you everything. Imagine being a bum on the side of the road and Bill Gates drives by in a limo, picks you up,  and starts lavishing his empire on you. What have you done to deserve his favor? Nothing. What does he have to gain? Nothing. What does he have to lose? A lot. But he does it anyway. God has done this for us. We do not  enhance him by our worship but he chooses to give of himself so that we, his creation, might be in joy with him. He cares for his creation that much.

Which brings me to the last birth. I know someday something's going to happen should Christ not return first. Someday I'm going to wake up in a place I've never been before but that I've longed for all my life. This is the main event I look forward to. There are many things I enjoy in this world and I will admit, when I was a young and ignorant Christian I couldn't picture life without them. Maybe Heaven will have 7-dimensional video games,  as someone once said.

But while I still do enjoy these things, I look forward to a world where I will see Christ more. I look forward to a world with a new body with no pain or sorrow or death. I look forward to a creation I can explore endlessly and a God I can relate to like never before. I look forward to eternity with my friends.

So as I open the gifts on the day of my birthday and the day after with my friends, this will also be in my mind. I hope it will be in yours one day when you have your birthday also. God has brought you into existence from non-existence, from wretchedness to holiness, and will bring you to your home for a real party someday.

Won't that be a great birthday gift?

In Christ,

Email the author at Apologianick@wmconnect.com