This last week I turned year older. It started out great. I had the predictable post-midnight phone call from Zack (which still startles me even though I know it’s coming) and an overwhelming number of Facebook birthday wishes. I had lunch with some good friends, a call from Tyler, dinner with Ally, as well as receiving some very special cards, notes, and phone calls. I ended the day thinking not only about how blessed I am but what a breeze 48 seemed to be.

Fast forward three days. I woke up Sunday with a cold that came out of nowhere, I barely had a voice, and as I performed the strenuous activity of brushing my teeth…I had a lower back spasm that just about put me on the floor. I relayed this as I began my message which drew some sympathetic chuckles. Forging ahead I croaked out my sermon like Froggy on the Little Rascals. The first person to approach me after the benediction was a good friend. He shook my hand and said, “Happy birthday. Welcome to middle age.” [insert nervous laughter]

Honestly, this middle-age thing has really gotten into my head. What have I done? What am I doing? Where am I going with the rest of my life?

A therapist friend of mine once told me since we are living longer now it’s not uncommon for someone to have two midlife crises. People may point to me quitting my job at a flagship church in my mid-30’s, moving my family to Michigan with no salary, insurance, people or place to live as my first one. If that’s a crisis…I’m ready for another one.

So this morning I sat down to begin the process of something I’m calling Project: B4-51. It’s more than a list of goals. I started to map out what I’d like to do and what God might have me to do before I turn 51 years old (B4-51). There are four main categories; Vocation (writing and speaking), Education (completing my MA), Family/Relational, and Physical Health.

At the coffee shop, my fingers were flying across the keyboard. I was in the zone. Now at the office, I’m rereading what landed on the page. And I reread it again. Pushing back a thought comes, “There is no way I can pull all this off.” But rather than be discouraged I choose to see that as a good sign. Not only do I need a direction for the next couple years…I need a direction that requires God to show up, for Him to open doors, and for Him to empower me. I need a direction that demands His intervention for me to succeed. We all do.

Hopefully I’ll be brave enough to start sharing the particulars of Project: B4-51 soon.


2 thoughts on “B4-51

  1. Welcome to middle age, indeed! Remember, growing old is not for the faint of heart, you have to be ‘tough’ to grow old. Is there a separation process?
    When I was your age, :-), I started NBC for my first midlife crisis, now at 62 I am ready for another one! I want my MA also, Spiritual Formation. The book I am reading “The Kingdom Life” by Alan Andrews posses this question on page 90: ‘If you knew you were going to live forever, what kind of person would you like to become?’ So, keep on brother, your MA will be sent into eternity, shaping who will become in Christ Jesus
    Know you are Loved,

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