“Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.” William Shakespeare – “Macbeth”
OK, so you’ve turned 50. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of your existence. You have life pretty much figured out by now. You’ve established a career. You may have raised a family, stayed married for about 25 years and have a good retirement plan in place. Your children are slowly moving out of the nest – hopefully. You’re living the good life.
You start receiving solicitations from AARP. You’re often asked if you qualify for the senior discount. You’re making changes to your hairstyle, your makeup and possibly even opting for surgical alterations. You work out as much as possible, knowing that this fabulous body isn’t going to last forever. You start to dream of your retirement years as work becomes more and more burdensome.
When we reach this age, we’re over half way to heaven – if we believe in God. Still you have a lot of living to do and you want to make the most of every minute you have been allotted. You look for ways to express yourself – through hobbies, special interests, volunteering. You might take up painting or write a memoir.
The ages between 50 and 60 are filled with many life changing events. For women it’s menopause. Men go through changes too. They call it a mid-life crisis. You may become ill and have to go through difficult medical treatment. Your friends are starting to look older than you. You wonder how that happened, until you look in the mirror and see you’re not what you thought you were. You may need a body part replaced or your pipes cleaned out. You may lose your job and find it hard to get a new one, because you’re over qualified. Hey, I thought this was supposed to be the prime of life.
At this critical time of life, you wonder where the time has gone. You wonder why you work so hard. You question the choices you’ve made over time. You take a good look in the mirror and see your parent’s reflection. You long to retire, yet you can’t for financial reasons or because you still love the routine of getting up each day and filling it with work. Well, maybe not that last part.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, it will be whatever you choose to make it, but don’t forget that God has the master plan already prepared. We’re still blessed with God’s freedom to plan – to look forward – to make the right choices. Middle age is the age of unfolding. Time drifts away faster than we’d hoped. We try to squeeze as much into our lives as we can before the bottom falls out or we die. We think about the future. We try to save for those years, but something else always gets in the way. You may have second thoughts about your career, your marriage, your goals.
Yet knowing that God has His hand on our future will give us confidence and assurance. He never changes no matter how much our lives change. He is consistent, He never lies and we know we can count on His involvement in our journey.
“So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body for youth and rigor are meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 11:10