It’s been almost three years since our world shifted in profound ways. As a global community, we continue to grapple through seasons of change, grief, and loss. The fragility of life has never felt more real as most of us have been touched by the loss of someone- a loved one, a friend, a colleague, or a friend. It’s compelled us to pause, evaluate and re-group. It’s challenged us to shed the parts of ourselves that no longer align with living with meaning and with purpose.
Have you felt this nudge?
While battling the stifling grip of grief this week, I found solace in a reminder by theologian, J.I. Packer, that this world is only our temporary dwelling.
James 4:14 (ESV) describes us as a mist that appears for a little while, and then, vanishes. Other scriptures refer to us as flowers that wither; drifts of smoke, wind, and spilled water that cannot be gathered up again. Psalm 102:11 says that our days are like an evening shadow.
Bearing in mind the fleeting nature of our time in this world, wouldn’t you want to spend your time wisely and intentionally, particularly now, in midlife?
How we spend our days in this world, matters deeply. In fact, the significance of time particularly in midlife was the inspiration behind this blog’s name, the Midlife Hours.
Ephesians 5:15-17 cautions us to look carefully at how we walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
How are you living more intentionally after the global shift?
During the pandemic, I was working on a series of articles for the blog, which focuses on purposeful living. Three books that crossed my path during the research included:
- X – Multiply Your God Given Potential – John Bevere
- The Purpose-Driven Life – Rick Warren
- Barbara and Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest – Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates
John Bevere unravels Jesus’s parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14 and offers valuable fresh insight into God’s expectations and outcomes for stewards of the gifts entrusted to each of us.
Rick Warren outlines God’s five purposes that we need to align with our God-given purpose.
Finally, Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates unpack the journey of Empty Nesters aligned with God’s purposes for this new life season. The work included the quote by J.I. Packer shared in the image above:
“Christianity sees each person as designed for a life beyond this life- an endless life which for those who know God will be far richer and more joyous than our present life can be, and for which life in this world was always meant to be a preparation. We were never intended to treat this world as home or live in it as if we would be here forever.”
How do you live a meaningful life?
- Practice mindful self-care.
- Deepen your spiritual growth through regular quiet time.
- Spend your time wisely.
- Establish clear relational boundaries to cultivate healthier relationships.
- Harness your spiritual gifts, natural abilities, passions, and skills to serve the world, and particularly those around you.
But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called "Today" [and there is an opportunity] so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication]. -Hebrews 3:13 May we heed this scripture and let the reminder of J.I. Packer encourage us to journey on with greater intention in our midlife hours.