I am grateful that the One who began the work in me will be faithful to complete it. That glorious truth is the only real antidote to the potential crises of middle age. If you’re on the front side of middle age, I encourage you to begin investing in your friendship with Jesus now. Don’t put off communion with Christ.
I turn 48 this year, loosely ensconced in my middle age years, on the downhill slope to 50. I’ve thought a lot about this season of life, primarily from the standpoint of committing to passing the baton and investing in the Church’s younger generations. But I’ve also thought a lot about the peculiarities of this season of life, how for many it holds such uneasiness and insecurity. I’ve thought about the so-called “midlife crisis.” I used to think it was a weird thing that (mostly) men in their middle ages feel suddenly drawn to sports cars and career reinventions and (worst of all) trading in their wives for younger models. These things have become midlife cliches.
I still think that phenomenon is a weird thing, but I think I understand it a bit better now. Midlife brings new insecurities and awakenings to long-dormant regrets. Many of us face empty nests and the prospect of, in effect, starting over with spouses we’ve only related to for so long as co-parents rather than as partners or friends. Many of us face the reality of aging parents and any fears or worries or responsibilities that come with that. And of course we daily face the reality of lost youth, waning strength, more difficult processes for maintaining health. Time moves a lot faster the older you get. That’s a cliche too, but it’s true.
By God’s grace, I don’t feel the need to buy a sports car or to make a career change or to blow up my marriage.