Meditations on Mid-Life

Two women stand behind us in line. I judge they are perhaps 10 years my senior, but it's hard to tell. I inwardly cringe as one bursts into a litany of complaints and coarse language. The other can hardly stop talking about who she's tweeting and snap chatting while we wait. One as salty as a sailor, the other as giddy as a schoolgirl.

I see myself in these women.

A complainer who makes those around her miserable.

A foolish woman too mesmerized by social media to be a friend to someone standing right beside her.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lisa's friend passes away. A woman I've never met, but will one day. Her example to Lisa became an example to me. While she is just beginning to understand what it means to worship God fully, her family and friends mourn a life ended too soon.

I consider the woman I long to be.

A woman who, in Lisa's words, "...believes the good news of the gospel to be true; she believes it, she needs it, she banks her life on it."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The words leap off the page
 I don't know if tomorrow will be my last day, but every year I pass - unheralded - the anniversary of my death.

My life on earth has a time limit, a shelf life, an expiration date. When I number my dates, each day rattles with sharp significance. What does this measured span look like as I weigh the brevity of my days? When I take those last breaths, how will I - and how will God - assess the days alloted to me? Life on earth will not go on forever. Every breath is a gift. Time is flying. - Jean Fleming, Pursue the Intentional Life

The questions burrow deep in my soul.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It hasn't come easy, admitting I'm middle-aged. Yet the calendar tells me that I have, in all likelihood, lived more than half of my life. Sometimes when I look back over the 46 years I've been blessed with, I feel crushed by the time I've let dwindle away. Hours, days, years that have had little value in the kingdom of God.

Then I contemplate the marriage that I've forged, by the grace of God and the love of a godly man. I gaze at the curly-haired young woman who makes me laugh and ache to rock her to sleep just one more time.  They are tangible proof of the goodness of the Lord and His daily mercies. And yet there are miles to go before I sleep...

There is much to do and time is fleeting. I remember a question Fleming poses and I ask myself variations of it. If this is my last year, what's the most important contribution I can make to my family? To my church? To my friends?

When I stand before the Lord

He's not going to care how many "likes" my cute photos on Instagram garnered.

He's not going to ask how many Twitter followers or Facebook friends I had.

He's not going to be impressed by the number of people who read my blog.

He's not going to wonder why I didn't read all the latest "must-reads".

He's not going to congratulate me on making everything from scratch, or condemn me for eating sugar and bringing home take-out one too many times.

The things that seem so important to me here and now will vanish, and all that will be left are the things I did for Him and in His Name. Will I be ashamed of how paltry my offering is?

I don't know how many days I have left in this life. I do know it's time to start counting them, to make them count.

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
~Psalm 90:12

Comments

  1. One of my favourite verses in the Psalms. It has convicted me many times. Thanks for your post today. Glad to see you blogging today <3

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  2. I think these questions are good for all of us to consider, even I we haven't reached mide age yet :) thank you for reminding us what is truly important Melissa.

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  3. So true. One truth that comforts me is Ephesians 2:10 -- He has prepared my good works in advance. Not only that, but He will see that they are accomplished for His glory. We will stand before Him complete. Your offering (and my offering) will not be paltry -- I believe that Christ himself will see to that. That being said, asking those questions, taking spiritual inventory, is a good discipline that He uses to accomplish that good work, I think. I'm glad I read this today. Thank you.

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  4. Number this one as a day that wisdom was passed on to someone middle-aged that needs lots of reminding. Thank you

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  5. Truly, Melissa...this is Truth! What a beautiful testimony of God's grace and strength Lisa's friend showed in the deep waters of trial. How precious our Great God is!! How wonderful to know that He knows and our times are in His hands!! Thank you for sharing your heart here...it is beautiful. Many Blessings, Camille

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