I’m having a midlife crisis about having a midlife crisis. Here I am more than a year into my forties and I haven’t even gotten started. That’s assuming I live to be eighty. If I only make it to sixty, then midlife started ten years ago. I am so behind already.
My biggest problem is that none of the traditional midlife crisis strategies work for me. The classic guy having a midlife crisis gets a girlfriend, a sports car, maybe a bad boy tattoo or piercing, works out like crazy and starts dressing like a teen-ager.
Okay for starters, I already have a girlfriend. I married her seventeen years ago and I’m crazy in love with her. So that’s out. I can’t afford a sports car, although I did just buy a used minivan. Does that count? Tattoos and piercings are no good either. I have a thing about needles. As far as working out goes, I’m pretty good at bench pressing Krispy Kremes, which also means that skinny jeans and other form-fitting teen styles are out of the question.
So you see my dilemma. How am I supposed to rebel against aging without any of these old standards at my disposal? Is their some way to hold on to youth without acting like a teenager?
I think it’s interesting that Jesus once told people they should become like a child. Notice He said to become childlike and not childish. So, what’s the difference?
Childish people are selfish and superficial. Childlike people are dependent and full of wonder. Childish people live for instant gratification. Childlike people simply enjoy each moment as it comes.
I have nothing against cool cars, tattoos or working out, but somehow I doubt they’ll give my life more purpose or significance. But if I live each day with an increasing awe of God and the world He made for me to enjoy, every minute becomes infused with meaning. Every second is an opportunity to play with my Dad and trust in Him for my every need, including the need to make my life count.
When I choose wonder and dependence, midlife crisis becomes a midlife opportunity. It’s the opportunity to grow younger as I grow closer to the God who gives me life.