Thursday, 21 April 2016

Happy Birthday Ma'am!

Today it’s the Queen’s 90th Birthday and fifteen miles down the road from here, in Windsor, she has just completed her walkabout.

This celebration feels different to the recent Jubilees.  They were celebrations commemorating her role as Sovereign – and also a time to pat ourselves on the back as a nation maybe.  This special birthday, it seems to me, is more about her as a person and, possibly, her as a mother and grandmother.

That certainly seems to be the case in the delightful photos that have been released this morning showing her in one surrounded by her young grandchildren and great grandchildren and in the other sitting on a sofa in a very informal and loving pose with her daughter. 

I have forgotten who said this (you see I get ‘Senior Moments’ at 55 so what am I going to be like at 90?!!) – that a birthday is not a time when others congratulate us because of what we have achieved but simply for being us – for sharing this part of life’s journey with our family and friends.  I like that – not ‘well done’ for passing this or that but ‘thank you’ for just being here and being you!!

That said last weekend’s papers and today’s TV programmes are full of reflections on the Queen’s long, record breaking reign – often asking the question ‘how has she done it?’  One commentator, in my view, got it spot on when he wrote: ‘She simply believes in what she is doing’.

Not bad advice for any of us.  How can we be good, faithful and committed Christians, Parents, Husbands, Wives, Doctors, Bankers, Volunteers...in short how can we be good human beings – by simply believing in what we are doing.

Happy Birthday Ma’am!
Best wishes,
Ian

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