You can tell a lot about a person by what happened on their birthdays. Each year, the tides turn. We wake up on our birthday mornings and are surrounded by people who care about us. If I had a written summary of 5 of a person’s birthdays, I could create a pretty good narrative of that person’s life. Did they answer their call and become who they were supposed to be? Did they live where their feet were? Were relationships important to them or did they mistakenly neglect the most important thing about life? 

Today I turn 22 years old. I have a whole life ahead of me at this point and I am about to set out on a journey. A few nights ago, a friend of mine called me and said that he wanted to call me before I died. Confused, I asked him exactly what he meant. He told me, “Max, most 21 or 22 year olds die at that age until they are 65. By the time they wake up and realize their mistake, it is almost too late. Make sure to stay alive.” This hit me hard. Despite what we are often told, we have some say in how our lives go. If my health is good, I will have around 24,000 more days on Earth, but this is certainly not guaranteed. Nothing is guaranteed. I have to make the decision each morning to stay alive mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. 

A few months ago, I created a mission statement that is taped on my mirror. It reads…

“I want to live a God centered life focused on spirituality, life-long learning, my physical well-being, and my relationships with others and the world.”

This birthday, I am surrounded by people that care about me. But will this always be the case? I think that my life will answer this question. Each morning I will fill out the test and decide yes or no. If I consistently ignore how I want to live my life, I will end up in a place I never intended to go. My prayer is that each morning I am obedient to God and choose to be happy.

“And remember, your best days are just ahead.” – Luke Ayers

Published by

Max Yelken

A young man looking for a sustainable life of adventure in a changing world.

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