Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Ultimate Birthday Party

Birthday parties are meant to be fun. They are meant to make us feel happy. They are meant to include our family and friends; all those who are important to us. They are not meant to be rigid, but meant to be a celebration of the fact that we were born into this world. There are many ways that you can throw a birthday party, anywhere from a simple dinner, to a trip to an amusement park, or a night of dancing.
Our blog group is asking the question, what is the ultimate birthday party? Now I suppose the answer to that would depend on what you enjoy. For some, a great birthday party may be going to the opera. But if you don’t like the opera, then it wouldn’t be very fun. For others it might be going to a baseball or basketball game. And still for others, a time spent with friends is all that they need. There can’t be any one idea, because each person has different likes and dislikes.
One wonderful birthday party that I heard about was a story Tony Campolo tells, of a time he was in Hawaii to speak. It was late at night and he couldn’t sleep, so he went to the local diner. While there, he overheard a couple of prostitutes talking, and one lady (let’s call her Gladys) was talking about how her birthday was coming up, but that she had never had a birthday party. After some time the women left. This gave Campolo and idea that he ran by the cafĂ© owner, to throw a party for Gladys. The owner thought this a great idea, and they planned it for the next night when it was her birthday. The next night came, Tony and the owner were ready for Gladys, in she walked, and they shouted out “Happy Birthday.” Gladys was moved to tears. She found out that Tony Campolo was a minister and asked about his church. He said he was the pastor of a church that through birthday parties for prostitutes! She couldn’t believe it, stating: “Now I would go to that kind of a church.”
I believe this is a powerful story, because it talks about showing value to a person’s life. And that is what the ultimate birthday party is: showing value for the person’s life. It isn’t so much what we do in the party, as long as the person feels valued. I know for me, when people take time out of their schedule to be there for me, or to show me they care, that makes it the ultimate celebration. How about you? What do you think is the ultimate birthday party?