The 2 Greatest Days in a Person’s Life


John Maxwell, on his birthday, said, “There are two great days in a person’s life. One, the day they were born. And second, the day they discovered why.”

In Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes* (yes, this is a shameless promo but it also illustrates a point), Wayne Daniels experiences a heavenly afterlife. He travels with friends toward Father’s house. At one point, the travelers stop in an apple orchard, introduce Wayne to new friends, and have a bite to eat.

As juice streaked down his chin, Wayne looked up at the others and smiled.

Marlea fixed her gaze on him and returned his smile. She asked, “So what’s so special about you, Wayne Daniels?”

Wayne coughed, spraying a few small bits of apple and juice in the direction of his inquisitor. Still trying to clear his throat, he put his apple down and said, “Excuse me?”

With the look of a curious child, head tipped to one side, fingers playing with a dangling curl just behind an ear, Marlea asked again, “What makes you so special?”

The beautiful woman’s question didn’t come across as harsh or unkind. It just seemed odd. Wayne had never in his life thought about what made him special.

He had felt in a general way special in God’s eyes, even occasionally felt like the unique object of the Father’s love, but he had never thought about what specifically made him special or unique. Wasn’t that a bit presumptuous? Or self-centered? Or selfish? Or something?

Feeling his cheeks warm from the focused attention, Wayne found speaking difficult. Embarrassed, he stuttered. “I… I… don’t really know. I… I… guess

I… I… I’ve never given it any thought.” He stumbled over every dad-blasted “I” he came to.

Wayne Daniels sputtered at the thought of having to say, “Hey, I’m special and this is why.”

But what does the Bible suggest? Is it okay to feel special, to know you have unique talents, or to recognize that you’re gifted?

David said, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14 NIV).

God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart …” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV).

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31 NIV).

In Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell discusses his Olympic involvement with his zealous-for-the-mission-field sister Jennie. This line from the movie is one of my all-time favorites. “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

You and I were born. That’s a given. After all, our births explain a whole lot (and middle-school health class explained the process in more detail than my little junior-high heart was prepared for—oh, I am so old).

I write.

You read.

That doesn’t happen without some birthdays.

But we were also born for a purpose.

I’m curious then. What’s so special about you?

*Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes is my first novel and will debut this spring. It explores the afterlife against the backdrop of heaven, hell, and modern-day San Antonio.

Recommended link: John Maxwell speaks about the word “excel.” (You, my friend, weren’t born to be average.)

Top 3 Posts from the past week:

Would You Still Choose to Live the Life of a Believer If …

A Tale of Two Flight Attendants

How Does the Past Affect the Present?

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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6 Responses to The 2 Greatest Days in a Person’s Life

  1. The verses you refer to in your post are something we all have in common. While they make us very much alike – fearfully and wonderfully made, set apart & worth more than many sparrows – they are also the same aspects that make us unique and special. It is in the carrying out of this sameness where what makes each one of us uniquely special shines through.

    • tnealtarver says:

      Kari, could you make “the carrying out of this sameness” clearer for me? Your statement reminds me of “Do I Look Good in White?” which to some degree echoes this post. Are you addressing the idea of our universal worth in the eyes of God, certainly a good place to start, which leads to our individual uniqueness–though of equal value one to another, we are distinctly different from each other?

      • Sure. We are all same in the fact that we are all wonderfully made, set apart & worth more than many sparrows. However, the way that we live out how God has made us, set us apart and given us value is uniquely our own. The combination of my personal qualities, personality and abilities are unique to me, and they provide the template for how I carry out who God created me to be. And really, He created us all to be and do the same things just in uniquely different ways. For every Christ follower, the goal is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind & strength and to love others as ourselves. How we carry out that goal is unique based on each individual. So, God made all of us, but He made us all unique. God set us all apart, but we are set apart in unique ways. God gave us all value, but our value is unqique and special. Does this make more sense? Honestly, it’s an idea I’ve been working over in my mind for a while, and I appreciate you forcing me to flesh it out more.

    • tnealtarver says:

      Okay, now I’m going to, borrowing from Jon Stolpe, stretch you a little more. Your words definitely hook into passages about the body of Christ as different parts (i.e. I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, etc.). You’ve got two boys at home. How do you see them as the same but different? Each has value in your eyes. You love them both but you also see them as unique, distinct personalities.

      • I totally get what you’re saying. My boys are very different children of God. They have unique combinations of qualities, yet those qualities come from the same source.

    • tnealtarver says:

      Amen! Good thread you’ve started, Kari.

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