Friday, February 4, 2011

Middle Of The Night, Middle Of The Life

It started in the middle of the night, about a year ago. I woke up for my nightly jaunt to the toilet and then could not go back to sleep. As I lay in bed, my mind began to think on serious things, really serious things. I began to have an anxiety attack. I was wide awake. I got out of bed. I prayed. I got back in bed. I got out of bed again. I walked around. I thought. I jotted notes down on a piece of paper. Finally, a couple of hours later, I went back to sleep.

It happened again a few nights later. Then driving down the road. Then on a date with Denise. During a sermon at church. It has been happening over and over. Finally, I think maybe as a cathartic, I am going to jot some things down on cyber-paper.

Here is what is happening.

I am having a mid-life crisis.

I thought I was immune to it. Yet, here I am just looking at my life, at the accomplishments behind me and the road ahead of me and asking myself, “What am I doing that really matters? Is the world a better place because I am alive? What am I doing that is more important than me? What will outlive me? Why am I doing what I am doing? What is the purpose of all this?”

Now before you start spouting off answers, let me tell you that I KNOW all the answers. I have counseled people on this issue. I have preached on it. I have a life mission statement (I have had one for the last 15 years). I am a pastor and a missionary. I have devoted my adult life to the pursuit of eternal purpose. I KNOW the answers.

But this is the first time I have ever struggled with the questions. It is weird. Knowing the answers when you haven’t really dealt with the questions is not the same thing as having the question scream in your spirit when you try to go to sleep. “What are you doing that matters!”

My midlife crisis has me thinking of my future, of the future, of death, of eternity, and of significance. I have been looking at the years of productivity that I have ahead of me and wondering about my investment portfolio. My eternal investment portfolio. Am I laying up treasures in heaven? Am I changing the souls of men? Am I going to have anything that will last at the judgment seat of Christ?

I am going to write a few blogs on this, but let me close by asking you my readers this: “Have you ever dealt with the real meaning of YOUR life, WHY you are here, and WHAT you are doing?”


Becky said...

Thank you for expressing this so well. I have been considering all the zeal I had for God early on and not seeing that same fire now. Then, I began to think about how God gives a calling that may not be achieved for years to come. Like Moses waited 40 years and Jesus waited 30 years before they were in their peak of leadership.

That must be why God tells us to stand firm, don't loose heart, run in such a way that you win the race.