In the Core of our Mid-Life Struggles...
“All my life I wanted to be somebody; now I’m finally somebody...but it isn’t me…” Wayne W. Dyer.
Why does mid-life have to be marked by painful trials? In our mind, suffering is an unnecessary obstacle. How good is it to have an accident; to loose your job? Why does suffering have to be part of the picture?
This is the subject of reflection I will elaborate in our next encounters. Mind you, this is a subject of struggle for all of us, including myself… We will try to understand the All Mighty’s position towards suffering… Don’t get me wrong… God doesn’t want this, absolutely not. We might feel “ripped off” at times…working so hard during all these years with little to show for it…We might feel envious or even angry at God and want to judge him…It’s perfectly understanding…“When you are in the middle of the painful heat of difficulty, it is very hard to keep the big picture in view. It is very easy for your view to shrink to the size of the difficulty of the moment.”
If we sincerely hope to journey around the corner of this difficult transition we will need to change our glasses…we must learn to look at the reality with serenity and lucidity; with an open mind and heart; we need humility (dealing with the truth within ourselves). Without this humble attitude (and not humiliation by the way!!!), you might as well visit YouTube and listen to your good old music! You’re wasting your time.
This is the journey into the tunnel…the big black tunnel, and everyone journeys individually. No two life experiences are the same, so comparison is worthless…just like each caterpillar as their respective chrysalis, we all have our own journey inwards. Ready…? If you aren’t I will understand and will hold you in my prayers…until you are ready…
“Physical pain of the body and the heart-crushing pain of regrets remind us that things are not the way they were meant to be. Bad things happen to good people all the time. Aging and regret are visible signs of the physical and spiritual death that sin brought into the world.”
How we would love Him to intervene, either rewarding good behavior and punishing any evil one, but the truth is that God is not a behaviorist and anytime some kind of pain or evil behavior comes knocking at the door of our lives, God refuses to treat us like a puppet. He respects our freedom. Just like He doesn’t want to impose His love upon us, neither does he want to impose His will – He will allow us to journey painfully, if need be, rather than to interfere in any way. God wants Love, freely given love…
The universal malady
In awakening of spiritual journey encounter we've presented egocentrism to be our challenging concern.
Spirituality and Egocentrism
We are in inner combat with our own glory our desire of control – and always wishing to establish our own rules, our own code of conduct, and our own ethical values rather than resting in the glory of the Sovereign rule of the Lord.
Control is the big issue, here. “Mid-life is a time when you assess your outcomes and survey what future is left for you. The temptation is strong to question God’s exercise of this rule.” You are in a raging battle; an inner spiritual war. I have been inspired by Henry Gariepy in his definition of sin as the universal malady. Open your eyes and look around you…when there’s dissastification, disorientation, discouragement, dread, it becomes difficult to see the loving caring presence of God in all these experiences. It’s the result of our need to control, to be right, to know more than God and to pride…” Where does this attitude come from?
“Any act of disobedience (subtle, secret, public arrogant) is a challenge to the Sovereign rule of God. I call into question God’s power, wisdom and rule. To be a sinner is to want to rule the world.”
“We were born with a genetic endowment from which no one is immune. Sin is our DNA, a spiritual condition we inherit from our first parents ADAM and EVE in their rebellion against God. Sin is also a conduct, our own acts of disobedience to the will of God for our lives. In these two ways, by condition and conduct, we are all sinners.”
The Greek word for sin is αμαρτια (amartia) meaning “to miss the target of life that God has for us”. We are missing the high goal of what we ought to be. Sin (αμαρτια) is a failure to realize life’s potential as ordained by God.»
In our next encounter we will describe more fully this spiritual war we experiment at different levels during this period of mid-life. I would like to conclude this encounter with this quote from C.S. Lewis :
“A hardy belief in the truths of Christianity actually makes your experience of pain more painful. It’s bad enough to have to endure pain but as a believer you must say that it was not an accident” (Nothing happens for nothing…) God, who is good allows it. “To us, God’s orders look like disorder, and this wisdom look like foolishness – this loving kindness looks like the opposite. All of this has to do with one humbling thing that we all have to admit: SIN. We are all sinners; We want our own way It’s hard to hard in the ruleship of God when our hearts and minds are preoccupied with the success of our own little kingdoms.
“It’s an illusion to believe that if God really does love us, he will give us these “good” things to us.
If we obey God, He will reward us with good things.”
The question we must honestly answer in all humility is the following: “Have you really wanted God to be the wise and loving Father, who brings into life what he considers best,
“Have you wanted Him to be a divine waiter, the all powerful deliverer of your dreams?”
Where is God When it Hurts? by Philip Yancey, Copyright 1977,Zondervan, Grand Rapids,Michigan 49530
Lost in the Middle - MidLife and The Grace of God by Paul David Tripp,Copyright 2004 Shepherd Press PO Box 24 Wapwallopen, PA 18660
The Purpose Driven Life- What on Earth Am I Here for? by Rick Warren, Copyright 2002 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan,49530
Daily Meditations-On Golden Texts of The Bible, by Henry Gariepy, p.219,Copyright 2004 Wm.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 255 Jefferson Ave. S.E.,Grand Rapids,Michigan 49503
Webster's - New Explorer College Dictionary, Copyright 2003 edition by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, Federa Street Press P.O. Box 281 Springfield, MA, 01102
Oxford Greek- Mini Dictionary Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press Inc. New York