Today I am 40 years old.
I suppose that’s in some way significant. It’s certainly a good opportunity to reflect and give thanks for the blessings I have received. I could write an Oscar speech style but I’ll save that for the autobiography.
For much of my 40 years U2 have been my favourite band. One of my abiding memories of them is sitting behind the stage with Derek Aitken’s dad, Jim, on the top of the old terraces of Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh listening to the band leading the crowd in ’40’, their version of Psalm 40. Since that day both the song has been firm favourite.
I love the restlessness of the song. It always goes on well after the gig is finished… on into the car park… into the night…
As I’ve aged I realised more and more that the words of Psalm 40 are my words. Like everyone there are things I would change and things I’m not proud of, just as there are things I would never change and things I will always be grateful for.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
I have received birthday greetings from family and friends all around the world today and I am grateful to each and every one of you for the part you have played in my life.
God bless you all.