“Yahweh said to Abraham:
“Leave your country, your kindred and your father’s
house for a country that I will show you; I shall
make you a great nation.”Gn 12, 1-3
Our mid-life spiritual journey is comparable to
Abraham's call to migration experience. Our
mid-life spiritual journey involves you and me in a
journey of significant spiritual and psychological
change of direction: from an externally oriented world
to an internally oriented one." It's a journey calling
for resilience, for hope and for patience. As we meditate
the journey of Abraham, I will guide you in a
better understanding of what this call implies in your
In the home page of this website, I've introduced mid-life
using the analogy of the mid-lifer spending 35 years or
more, climbing stairs to reach the top of a building,
to discover once arrived that the destination, was
to be the wrong one, and that we are under the
impression that all our life's effort in journey was"Futility sheer futility, everything is futile...".
Eccl. 1 2:18"
Abraham is 75 years old; he has been raised in the
cultural (πολυθεοσις - politheosis) - greek word meaning
faith in the existence of more than one gods and
practicing this faith's respective rituals to obtain
the gods'blessings and favour. Ex.: Isaac's
sacrifice offer, Yahweh tests Abraham's sense
of commitment and faith and He uses this opportunity
to educate him about better cultual rituals. Yahweh wants
no more human sacrifices and provides Abraham with an
animal for the ritual.
We can picture Abraham in his struggles searching for meaning
to this new life, abiding to these new valuesand letting
go the old ones as a useless map... not to mention
his concerns. God makes him a promise at an old age...
his wife Sarah is barren – he has no child to inherit
neither his name nor riches. I suspect his anxiety of
the unknown… How can this work out?
From settlement to migration… A beginning of renewal…
A complete transformation… a revelation… “Leave
your country, your kindred and your father’s house for
a country that I will show you; I shall make of you a
It’s a journey of faith…it’s an adventure… migrating
in the deserts,(desert is also a metaphoric image
for interiority or inner spiritual journey)
confronting many enemies, the famine… the unknown
of Egypt... He only has his faith in God and in His
promise for guidance. “I will make of you the father of
a great nation…” No matter the humanly impossible life
circumstances: his age, Sarah’s barren condition and age…
Abraham trusts the word of God fully aware of his divinity
His trust increases as he learns to know Him. His challenges,
and temptations, his hopes, his doubts...The life of
Abraham is in a sense the illustration of our
Our mid-life journey is comparable to Abraham’s
migration experience, in a sense that in our quest for
truth and harmony, the answers are not given to us
all wrapped-up as a gift, we must search for
All the doubts and reconsiderations we might
experience during the mid-life spiritual journey –
our migration into the darkness through
psychological, social, interpersonal relationship
concerns etc…or fear of change and the unknown are
not only normal… but part of the journey.
Spiritual journey develops through stages just like we
do so psychologically and physically. This is necessary
for instigating balance or personal harmony. Unfortunately,
we have not been educated very much about this.
Ex.: Have you any possible doubts you might have about
certain principles and values always nourished until
now…values and principles you hesitate to let go
for fear of betrayal? (What you’ve learned as a child
from teachers and parents) where adapted
to your childhood stage of life and presented to you
in principles for you to obey and to respect;
your intelligence was not fully trained to fully
understand what could be good for you or not.
As you reached the adulthood stage of spritual
journey, not only do you discern and chose the values
that helps you to grow and instigate meaning to
You re-evaluate those values and discern whether
they help you become a better and wiser person, whether
they are a guide for your life and the outer expression of your
own relationship with the All Mighty. The rituals you
celebrate now have a much deeper meaning. You don't
practice them out of obedience, instinctively, or out of
fear for punishment. On the contrary, you practice out of
love and these values become part of you. You understand
the profound riches and beauty involved in them.
From the stage of child obedience to the stage of loving
and meaningful commitment there's a whole journey involved -
a journey that very few as successfully overcome.
This is the case involving the 1960 quiet revolution.
The Baby-boomer generation, reaching adulthood, chose
to disrecard faith and anything that had to do with
spiritual journey. Rather than discerning and opting
for the riches of their faith.
Changes needed to happen and we have seen some positive
outcome. Unfortunately, and this is the sad part,
their opting out against faith, going as far as
disrespecting God's behavioural guidelines, as now
reached the opposite extreme - with devastating
consequences. Almost two generations have been poorly
spiritually educated if not educated at all and we
sense them erring, desperately searching for
profound meaning to life.( explaining the high rise
in suicide not only during mid-life but also in youth.
We worship humanity and its deads rather than God;
the negative outcome of this is a world of egocentrism
and selfishness. Our lack of gratitude sometimes overlaps
on others negatively, going as far as treating others
like victims. The increase of violence is an
example. We also go as far as react as though the world
is our possession and we create rivalries and oppressions.
How long can we continue living like this? We are all part
of this mess!
It's the stage of spiritual adolescence...the independance,
the inability to real commitment, these are old values and
principles, people say! It's not cool, the human errors or
human scandals of community representatives...disbeliefs,
truth to hard to acknowledge and to accept, to demanding are
but a few out of many rational reasons...
This is where the mid-life spirituality journey can become
a very difficult challenge for many of us...There might be
a need for reconciliation, for forgiveness, for humility...
Can you begin to understand why for so many people,in
our day-and-age society, the journey out of of the mid-life
crisis is almost an impossible journey?
“Faith is the consciousness of God or divine, as loving
and caring towards us. This consciousness includes
trusting without hesitation or reserve.” Jesus Today -
A Spirituality of Radical Freedom.” P. 87-88 Such
faith moves mountains and miracles do happen. We know
that God will do what’s best – which may not be what you
or I want. We trust in Him because He sees the big
picture. In our post-modern days…when someone isn’t
healed… if our prayer of request is not immediately
answered as expected, we either blame God or we
Carl Jung, psychologist, used to say:
“It is in the deeper part of us, that a person goes
when there is great work that needs to be done.
Mid-life involves a significant spiritual and
psychological change in the direction: from an
externally oriented world to an internally oriented one.”
We have mentioned a few mid-life images: cocoon,
desert, tunnel, black hole, seeds in the soil, roots
of trees, diving into the deep oceanic water,
from caterpillar to butterfly… You may recognize your
image best illustrating your mid-life journey.
I am fully aware that what you've just read here, can be
a big loaf of bread to swallow. I never said that
the journey through mid-life was an easy journey. A lot
of soul searching involved here...soul searching
that requires aknowledgement in all humility. What
I mention to you, I mention it for myself just as well...
we all need to journey further and deeper.
This is not attempt of reproach or to condemn anyone...
It's not the purpose...it's a wake-up call in our
struggling society. Together, we can build a better society,
we can change the world one heart at a time...
The following questions are inspired from the book:
Dear Heart Come Home–The Path of Midlife Spirituality
by Joyce Rupp, chapter 1 p.35-36).
Identify and describe the mid-life images rising from
What are the changes you sense need to happen in your
life at this present time?
Are you ready to face the truth hidden within you for
so long? (remove your masks)
The shadow represents the repressed emotional
values, feelings, experiences etc… As they rise up
one by one in your life; (sometimes under symbolic
images in dreams or unexpected feelings) are you able
to pay attention to them and to reclaim them?
“…this beckoning to wholeness, the discovery and
acceptance of the missing pieces within one’s self
Carl Jung identifies this as the stage of individuation.
It also implies accepting the dying that goes with
the discovery. Our, ego, that part of us that is
conscious and thinks it knows everything, has either
to relinquish some of its supposed truth (illusions), or
to give way to a much larger picture of what truth is.”
Go back to your roots. In your daily journal, write
down what are to be your beliefs and assumptions that
were the foundation of your life before reaching this
period of mid-life.
Look at them from your mid-life perspective. Which one
do you discard, which one would you rearrange?
What are the new beliefs that are developing?
I would like to conclude with this meditation from
Henry Gariepy in his book
Daily Meditations – on Golden Texts of the Bible
(p.47) as he presents the recipe of renewal.
“In virtually every area of life we may confront the
need for restoration and renewal. Busyness or
neglect takes its toll, relationships become
broken, zeal grows cold, we yearn for a fresh and
closer walk with God… a recipe for restoration
and renewal, both personal and corporate, reminding
us that devotion to God is our first priority. Then,
we too may take courage and find that the hand of
the Lord is upon us.”