My Impending Midlife Crisis

midlife crisis

(Here’s an article I wrote a couple of years ago … It’s old like me.)

The countdown has begun – only 219 days until I turn 40. For some reason, I can’t get anyone to feel sorry for me. My kids look at me like, “What’s the big deal? You’ve always been old to us.” One young lady from church keeps telling me, “Well, I’m almost 30, pastor” (as if that would make me feel better). And everyone older than me just smiles and says, “Just wait; forty’s nothing.”

As I deal with my impending midlife crisis, it got me thinking about how we look at our lives. Very few people seem to be content with their age. When we are three years old, we want to be four or five so we can go to school. When we are in grade school, we want to be in junior high. When we are in junior high, we want to be in high school. When we are in high school, we want to be in college. And when we are in college, we dream of the day we graduate, the day we get a job, the day we get married and have kids. As young people we are constantly looking and longing for tomorrow and next year.

And then as we get older, we get torn. We look back on our younger years and long for our glory days. We somehow forget how miserable we were and how much we wanted to get out school and be adults. At the same time, we look ahead and can’t wait until retirement when we can finally take a break and do all the things we don’t have time to do right now.

Then, when we finally retire, our bodies slow down and we wish we could go back to work and be as productive as we used to be.

Human nature never seems to be content with today. It always wants to look back with nostalgia on yesterday or ahead with yearning to tomorrow. The Psalmist, however, reminds us to celebrate today. “This is the day the Lord has made,” he wrote, “let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

Every day – every stage of life – has its struggles and every day has its blessings. Instead of constantly being miserable, longing for a better day, a better age, look at the good things God has given you today.

So kids, enjoy watching cartoons and wearing Angry Bird pajamas – playing with Barbies and getting dirty. Once those days are over, you’ll never get them back.

Young people, enjoy the fact that you aren’t an adult yet. Sure, you don’t always get to do what you want, but you also don’t have to worry about how your food or clothes or home are going to be paid for. Sure you have to go to school, but you also get to hang out with your friends and lay around watching TV all day.

Adults, enjoy the fact that you can work and drive and clean your homes. The day will come when you won’t be able to do that anymore. And if you are in your twilight years, enjoy the fact that God has given you years of blessings, friends and family. Enjoy the fact that you can now give other people the opportunity to help you as you helped others for so many years.

Be content with the age God has given you. Yesterday is gone and can never be brought back. Tomorrow may never come. Forever is waiting for you in the joys of heaven because of Jesus and his love. So celebrate God’s gift of today – even if you are about to turn 40.

 

  6 comments for “My Impending Midlife Crisis

  1. Gene
    September 18, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I’ve reached that point in life where it seems more parts of my body are breaking down than working properly. So, I went to the doctor for a check up and also to complain once again about something else that wasn’t working right. He looks at me and says, “Sorry, Gene. This is what happens as we get older. I can’t make you any younger.”

    I responded, “I’m not asking you to make me younger. I just want you to assure me that I’m going to continue to get older.”

    • schroera
      September 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Love the story! Thanks.

  2. Edith Schallert
    October 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    It amuses me when the topic of age-related problems comes up and someone says, “Consider the alternative!”. And I think, ” What? When I die, I’m going to Heaven! What’s not to like about that?”

    • schroera
      October 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      In the end, we are in a win/win situation. Paul talks about that in Philippians 1:21. If we are here, God has a purpose for our lives. If we die, we go to heaven. We can’t lose! Thanks for your comment.

  3. July 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Edith nailed it—the alternative is what we strive toward, the goal. We long to be with Jesus, and we may arrive there broken or feeble, or young and vital like my son did. My former spouse used to say, “Age is just a number…” until his age hit him square in the face and the crisis set in. Now I finish this trip alone, but never lonely, thanks be to God.

    Great posting!

  4. Margaret Rodenbeck Rodriguez
    August 29, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    As we struggle toward recovery or a “new normal”, I have posted the scripture verse on my refrigerator door, “This is the day the LORD has made…” and it helps to keep that in front of my eyes. I remember when I was forty, we moved to Watertown. I went for exercise at the track, and celebrated when I finally ran the whole mile. Once. Only once. Then I stopped by my Aunt Alma’s house on my way home and she laughed with me. From her perspective, fifty years beyond mine, I WAS young. She was so good to me. [Your great-grandmother]

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