I recently celebrated a birthday, just like you do at some point during the year.
Hopefully your day is filled with the people you care about the most, the things you love to do and time to reflect on what you've done over the past 365 days.
Mine certainly was.
But after reflecting on my birthday texts, Facebook messages and in person greetings, one thing I want to tell you about is the power of the phone call.
One phone call, about 6 years ago, changed how I view the birthday greeting.
I was working and my phone rang. It was my friend Jake calling.
I hadn't heard from him in a few months, but had seen at church every once in a while. Jake and I are friends through our small group and we played golf together. (Once we even played golf in January as the weather turned to 50+ degrees in Michigan and courses were opening. Let's just say the golf ball bounces further when the ground is frozen).
I thought perhaps he was calling to schedule our next golf outing.
I picked up the phone and he said he was calling to wish me a happy birthday. We talked for a few minutes, probably less than 5 in total, but his phone call impacted me.
It changed me.
So much so that I got off the phone and contemplated what had happened over the past 5 minutes.
Did he really just call me to wish me a happy birthday? He did.
It was so impactful that I added his birthday to my calendar. Since then it has been a birthday rule that we call each other and say hello on our birthdays.
Just over a year ago, Jake and his family left the corporate world and Grand Rapids to serve as missionaries in a country quite far from their home (notice I'm being vague here, it's for a reason...).
But even this year, I received a message from Jake wishing me a "Happy Birthday!"
When I was not able to call Jake for his birthday, I took a quick video with my cell phone and emailed it off to him, continuing the tradition.
If you sent me birthday greetings, I want to thank you.
I am definitely a words of affirmation guy, so I appreciate the gesture.
But I do want to ask you:
Do you have relationships that deserve a little more time and attention when it comes to birthdays?
Have we all become too busy to actually call someone and speak with them for 5 minutes, say something nice to them to them directly and say I'm glad we are friends?
Jake helped me experience what it's like to receive that unexpected phone call that brings with it a message of kindness and appreciation.
Who doesn't want more kindness and appreciation in their lives?
I challenge you to take this story to heart and see where it leads you as you head over to Facebook and type a similar message to your friend who you haven't talked to in several years.
Perhaps it's time for a phone call.