At Donald Miller's Storyline blog, a post by John Richmond discusses the importance of a mid-life crisis. Apparently, anyone who is in their mid-40s, has a mortgage, and a kid or three qualifies for one. I've got my hand up, since it appears I qualify. Richmond further states that his wife told him there was no room in their budget for a sports car or a mistress, and I would guess that's the case with most of us who qualify.
Richmond brings up some really good points. There are hollow promises related to those things that are not going to bring us true value, like a sports car. I went down this road. Right after my wife died, I was 34, a single parent of an infant child, and I was completely overwhelmed by my job and life itself. I knew I had to get myself realigned and off of a path of self-pity, buy my self-confidence was just too low to deal with the stresses life had delivered to me. Instead of looking towards God for spiritual help, which is what I needed, I looked for ways to handle it myself through the materialistic world. I needed a new car. Gone was the four-door sedan that I had purchased a few years before, which at the time was a very sensible car for a new family. Gone was the old beat-up Jeep Cherokee with well over 100K miles on it (but was paid for). In came a shiny new SUV *AND* a convertible Mustang, which I was convinced would make me happy. That worked well, didn't it?
That was sarcasm. Of course it didn't work well. The Mustang made no sense. My daughter couldn't ride with me when the top was down because she got way too much wind in her face. The SUV got rotten gas mileage at a time when gas prices were getting more and more expensive, and it just sat in front of the house, waiting for the occasional road trip vacation, but hardly worth the expense of purchasing it.
I also jumped back in the dating pool when I absolutely had no business swimming in it. I had not gotten my spiritual, personal relationship with Jesus back to where it needed to be, which is necessary before considering a new relationship with a potential mate. Friends and family were just happy to see me out there dating again, which convinced them that I had moved on from my wonderful but no longer valid marriage.
In my head, though, I thought I was doing the right things. New cars, new dating relationships.... it was a mid-life crisis, and I had fallen right into the trap of looking at the wrong things (the "societal norms", if you will) for happiness. I didn't look towards God, who is the source for completeness.
Ten years later, and I'm in a much better place. While I'm still not all the way there, I'm certainly feeling like I'm on the right track. God is keeping me centered, and I'm aligning the other areas of my life in the direction and priority they need to be in. I have a long way to go. Interestingly, I'm at the age now where I might have had a mid-life crisis, had I not had one already. And I guess the rule book doesn't say you can't have more than one. But I'm certainly better prepared for it should it happen. I don't think it will, though. Lessons learned, and all that. Thank God.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Blessings and best wishes from my family to yours.
In HIS Grip,