As a Sunday school teacher of college students, I talk with a lot of young 20 somethings about life, love, God and the world. One of the recurring things I’ve found myself saying to them over the years is, “These years are the crossroads of your life. You are making more important choices that will affect the rest of your life…studies, marriage, career, friendship, location, lifestyle… If there is ever a time for you to be dialed in to God’s will for your life it is now, in your youth."
And now I am a 40 something. I am at age where me and my 20 something buddies are either reaping the blessings of good decisions or suffering the consequences of bad ones. None of us thought we’d be a statistic. None of us thought we’d be overweight, gray-haired, divorced, depressed, in a dead end job, estranged from our kids, financially strapped or looking at a life that was nothing like we had planned. Not all are in such dismal straights and some are doing quite well…but many of us are nowhere near where we hoped to be.
The difference between being 20 and 40 is…20 years have passed. And if experience is the greatest teacher, then I just might actually know some things now. My body might be moving a bit more slowly but my brain is just getting revved up. My heart is more engaged in my relationships than ever before. My words land with greater impact in the lives of others than I ever thought possible. I am more aware of who I am, who God has made me to be and what it is He wants me to do with the time I have left on the earth. I have much more life and influence in front of me than I ever thought I would at this age.
The crossroads of middle age look eerily similar to the one I faced at 20, but with higher stakes. Much higher stakes. These decisions won’t just determine where my life goes, but who I will ultimately become. I thought that decision had been made a long time ago, but I’m coming to realize I am just getting started. And this time around, there is no second half coming with which to make adjustments.
Intersections where she externally processes all that life throws at her. Sometimes she realizes that she should keep some of it internal.