Reflections on Midlife

In my recent farewell address, I noted how differently you see life at age 55 compared to your early 20s and 30s. When you are young, you think you will live forever! But life and time do move quickly. The stages of life seem to progress with increasing speed: childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, midlife, mature adulthood and late adulthood and before you know it, the end of life is in sight. Yes, it's a sobering thought.

As we move into another weekend, why not take some time aside, find a quiet place, and reflect on your own life. Where have you come from? Where are you now? Where are you going? What time is it for you? What is your current stage of life and how should that inform the way you live and what is important to you (see links to various BLOG posts above)? 

Recently, I was doing just that – reflecting on my own stage of life: midlife. It is an interesting time for me. I haven't been this way before. This is new territory. I am at a different stage of life. At 55 years of age, I'm not yet 'old' but I'm definitely not 'young' anymore. I feel different and I see things differently.

I am at a different stage of my spiritual journey. My faith in God is deeper. But I have given up the need for everything to be black and white. I've accepted that there is a lot of grey in this world. I'm comfortable with mystery and paradox – in who God is and in the universe he created.

I am a different leader than I used to be. I don't 'need' a bigger church to feel good about myself. I don't 'need' another significant conference speaking invitation to feel important. Anything 'additional' is a simply a gift from God, not a goal to be strived towards nor the result of me praying hard enough.

With that context, I share with you a poem I wrote on the 18th December 2016 called 'Midlife': I hope it is an encouragement to you, as well as a challenge to live your life to the full.

5c9fd667f6370934bd30544d08d0cdd7

Ageing body
Agile mind
Still feel young
But feeling the grind

Caught between two generations
Elderly parents
Growing kids
Not old but no longer young

Crazy busy first half
Don't want a repeat
What has meaning now?
How do I want to live?

Glitz and glitter
No longer attracts
Climbing the ladder?
Not on that wall

Very aware of my frailty
The shortness of life
The length of eternity
What really matters now?

Family and friends
Being over doing
Character over achievement
Who am I becoming?

Life is a gift
The clock is ticking
But no need to rush
Enjoy this moment fully

Time to reflect
Need to take stock
Halftime
Midlife

Crisis or opportunity?
You decide
Follow the crowd
Or the road less traveled?

Selah