Not quite ready for a mid-life crisis, but just “mature” enough to realize that every minute matters. When I watch commercials, I’m tempted to believe the advertising agencies-a life well-lived is one where my sheets smell like spring, my wrinkles are meant to be camouflaged, and that I’m not really living until I have gorged myself on a cruise to someplace tropical.
You can bet that I use fabric softener, I don’t leave the house without mascara on, and I certainly enjoyed one such cruise not too long ago. Nothing wrong with all that.
Except when I begin to live like that is all there is to it. Or even by buying into the popular Christian mantra that being a stay-at-home mom and raising my boys to become God-honoring men is my only mission field. If I do my part in the home, I’m off the hook of living a radical and global love.
Neither are true-not the world’s ideal for my life, nor is the “Christianese” thought that living out the gospel to my kids is my world. Because the world is my world.
A life well spent is not as simple as either of those options. It has to be led by the creativity and originality of the Holy Spirit.
As a Christian woman, my top priority is indeed my husband and my children-running our home, planning meals, helping with homework, and pointing my sons towards Jesus. It’s absolutely my main goal-but it’s not enough.
I’m not even totally sure what that looks like for me, to be honest. But it starts with a willing heart.
So that’s what I’m asking from you too. Will you be willing to buck off conventional ideals about what it means to be a Christ-follower at this particular stage of your life-as a young single man, a SAHM of 2, or a retired grandmother? And are you willing to ask of yourself, what am I doing that extends beyond the mainstream messages of culture? Are you willing to challenge the philosophy of your home-school group? Or your heritage?
It’s a new kind of mid-life crises-more of a mid-life catharsis.
Paul strongly warns us in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I don’t want to live in the moment; I want to live like eternity is my future. I’m no longer interested in following the patterns of my past, the influences of secular media, or the popular mantras of pastors without prayerful consideration.
If I want to know God’s will, then that means renewing my mind by examining God’s Word. Perhaps you feel like you are caught up in the mundane. And I will agree that the ministry of folding socks is worthy. But not if that is all you do. Not if it’s a mindless and comfortable routine. Not if it never involves loving an enemy, offering your guest room to a homeless woman, or finally confessing your binge-eating and asking for help.
Jesus was a radical. What He did in the life for one He rarely repeated in the life of another. He didn’t show up in Jerusalem and heal the masses with one word-He met each one in a personal way and with unique mindfulness. He has a work and a path and an original plan for you too.
As we approach each new day of our lives, let’s start our own inquisition.
Let’s ask God what He would have us do today-what He would have us know. It’s not enough for my body to wake up and my spiritual life to stay asleep. Do the dishes and then fill a cup of water for your enemy. Make breakfast for your kids and then drive them downtown to feed someone else’s who can’t provide. By all means, pray with your children in a time of devotions, but let them see you pray for a woman in line at the store when you feel led by the Holy Spirit too. Love, sincerely.
I don’t need to buy a Corvette when I turn forty to squeeze more life out of living. I just need to offer to carpool for my unbelieving friends from my son’s school.
And I certainly don’t need a head to toe makeover or a new wardrobe to reinvent myself. I just need to clothe myself with dignity and a gentle and quiet spirit-even when I have spit-up on my shoulder and my hair is in a bun.
The only thing worse than a mid-life crisis, is a living in a comfortable Christian-coma. The cure is found in a vibrant and passionate rebirth in Christ-something that no weekend in Vegas, or sheltered Christian community can provide. I’m totally okay with being 38 as long as I don’t relax into status quo or go off the deep end of carnality. No, 40 won’t rock my world. Jesus already does that every day.
YOUR TURN! What is something you could do for God that is out of your comfort zone?
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