Allow me to be real for a bit…
“A lot of things change for a man when he turns 50…” I recently made that statement to my 24 year old son. I think most men around the age of 50 would agree. I call it the “Reckoning Stage”; a stage where reality becomes real and we must reckon with the changes that have taken place in our lives. If I had to list some changes I have experienced since I turned 50 nearly three years ago, they would include:
- Talking less
- Listening more
- Having more compassion
- Empathizing with people more
- Being patient with people
- Having less control
- My body slowly failing
- Being much more emotional than in years past
- Appreciating life and people more
- Periods of isolation
That’s just to name a few… These changes are prompted by life. By “life” I mean the things that happen in life; the natural flow of life, brought on by the fall of man. Disappointments, failures (yours and people you love), crime, suffering, etc.… all of which are a result of sin.
I was channel surfing the other night and landed on a Sit-Com called “The Middle”; a show based on the life of an average middle class family. By in large it’s a comedy, but from time to time the show has moments of sentimentalism, like this clip that shows the Dad summing up his “Reckoning Stage” stage of life well…
This stage of life is a natural. The question that arises is “how do we handle it?” If you’re a passionate person, this stage could wreck you. It can twist you, choke you, depress you, and break you. 50 years of “life” can breed melancholy in you before you even realize it. But it doesn’t have to…
Here’s the good news; if you’ve trusted in Jesus, 50 years of “life” is simply a tool to fit you for Heaven. In other words, the more you see the pain and suffering in this life, the more you simply want to be with Jesus. That’s the point and purpose…and that’s where I am. Don’t get me wrong, there’s so much here that I love and want to experience more, like family, church, etc., but it certainly doesn’t trump my desire to be with Jesus. Even as life changes, God’s grace is at work, preparing me, molding me, fitting me for Heaven, for His glory and my good.
So when you see this middle aged man growing older, being more emotional than he probably should, know that it’s all being used by the King of glory to get my eyes off of earthly things and on to heavenly things… Jesus.
As always, Scripture sums it up perfectly:
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
2 Corinthians 2:1-5