There is a quote of unknown origin: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”
I find it a coincidence, then, that this—my 200th blog post!—falls on the anniversary of my baptism. I had already begun reflecting on the importance of commemorating milestones in our lives, and there was another one, waiting to be acknowledged.
Milestones, be they in weeks or months or years, are important. They speak of relationship; celebrating them in some small way indicates our commitment to that relationship thus far, and to continuing it into the future. It’s an opportunity to reflect and focus on the positives of the relationship; and on how we have been shaped by that relationship.
Whatever the relationship is, it is worth acknowledging. TV programmes reaching 100 episodes demonstrates an intricate connection between writers, actors, networks, and viewers. A person battling addiction celebrates every day as a milestone, committing themselves to the relationship they have with themselves and their close ones. The commemoration of a loved one’s death is a way to be thankful for that person’s presence and (ongoing) influence in our lives. Societal celebrations or remembrances (like Remembrance Day or Canada Day) serve our commitment to one another and to our shared cultural norms and standards.
And a sacramental anniversary—like marriage or baptism—invites celebration on the inclusion of the divine into our relationships—with ourselves, with our loved ones, with the world.
So today I celebrate 2 personal anniversaries—2 coincidental milestones.
My 200th blog has me reflecting on the opportunity to share my thoughts with a broad audience, to be challenged to seek out God in the ordinary week after week and write about in what is (I hope) coherent and meaningful ways.
My baptismal anniversary is celebrated as I consider the vows that were made on my behalf those many years ago, which I affirmed in my confirmation and renew regularly. I am delighting in watching how the influence of these vows has continued to increase in my life, molding and shaping my ministry—my relationships. And I am pondering how I will live out those vows in the year to come.
Whatever your milestone or anniversary is, celebrate it for all that it is: a day of celebration for relationships in the past, a day of joy for the relationships that exist today, a day to be open to the possibilities of ongoing relationship in the future.