From Where I Sit: Eating birthday cake while star-gazing

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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Zion Church had a concert marking its 25th anniversary on Saturday night. It was a beautiful night. On the way home, I saw a shooting star. It served as a reminder concerning that night’s Perseids meteor shower. So, desperately in need of excitement, we sat outside for the show. Perhaps we didn’t wait long enough into the night, but we only saw a couple of shooting stars before calling it a night. Sometimes the best platform for introspection is to lift one’s head and behold the starry skies. As David said in Psalm 8, “When I behold the heavens, the moon and stars which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him?” Philosopher Immanuel Kant observed that “two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe — the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” Still, we just wanted to see some shooting stars, that’s all. On cue of course. Is that too much to ask? (Insert sarcastic tone here). Forgive me for excessive introspection. This is the week I cross the line for the 53rd time. Every year I like to remind myself and others that Robert DeNiro, Sean Penn, Mae West, Davy Crockett and me all share a birthday in common. It’s the closet thing to greatness here on earth I may ever get. As a child, August seemed a boring month to have a birthday. Come to find out, it’s a big birthday month. Here is a small list of current celebs who celebrate this month — Tom Brady, Martha Stewart, Barack Obama, Billy Bob Thornton, Garrison Keillor, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Martin, Halle Berry, Fidel Castro, Ben Affleck, Steve Carrell, Madonna, Bill Clinton, Kenny Rogers, and Coolio. Coolio! (Here’s that sarcasm again). Oh, there are many more people but perhaps you get the picture. In a sense it is the luck of the draw for each one of us. Then again, someone said that “luck” is God’s nickname. We had no say-so on when we were born, or that we were even born in the first place. Standing there, a comparative speck (and that’s being generous), bursts any notions of pride and self-importance. We’re born, we live and then we die. We have occasional birthdays to remind us of all three facts. The irresistible procession towards eternity continues. So pass the chocolate cake and let’s go star gazing. Reach Tom Rupp at