The crowd roared with every shot I made, anticipation reaching a crescendo as I got into the consecutive double-digits. With an intense focus on the ball and the basket, I tuned out the chants of my name and only heard my voice,
“Nothing but net, nothing but net.”
The statisticians from the Guinness Book of World Records looked on, wondering if they’d be entering a new record for consecutive free throws made.
Sometimes, the venue was World Series Game 7 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. The frenzied home crowd threw roses on the field in my honor as I struck out one damn Yankee after another with my 95-mph tennis ball hurled against the wooden crawlspace door.
Of course, these events played out in the imagination of a 12-year-old kid who longed to be exceptional at something.
Even at a young age, I longed for my life to hold meaning, although I had no idea what that meant. But I equated this desire with being highly skilled in something. It makes sense.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27
God created you for a purpose
We are made in the image of God, The Creator, who begins His Book in the very first sentence telling us He created the heavens and the earth. Then He details the remainder of His creative work in the next 30 verses.
God created us in His image, planting skills and desires within us to be creators. When we discover these skills and apply efforts to sharpen them, God can promote us to serve kings. As King Solomon prepared to build a temple for God, he wanted the most skilled craftsman in charge of the project. Instead of looking within his own borders, he asked for help from King Hiram of Tyre.
King Hiram responded:
“Now I have sent a skilled man, who has understanding, Huram-abi, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre. He is trained to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design that may be assigned him, with your craftsmen, the craftsmen of my lord, David your father.”2 Chronicles 2:13-14
King Solomon, the world’s wealthiest and most powerful king, searched the globe for a highly skilled man to help build God’s temple.
What has God created you to do?
The best way to avoid a midlife crisis, and any crisis for that matter, is to discover God’s unique purpose for your life and pursue it. Ask God this simple question: “What do you want me to do with my life?” This question is critical as we reach midlife and our kids don’t need us as much. Our children have filled this gap for the last two decades, and now the little birds are flying on their own.
We look around the empty nest and ask, “Ok, what now?”
I asked God, and He asked me a question (don’t you love it when the answer to your question is another question?).
“What is your slightest inkling, the faintest hint of what you want to do?”
My only response was writing. And He said, “Pursue that.”
So, a hobby I’d played around with for 20 years became an obsession as I read books on writing, watched YouTube videos, listened to podcasts, and enrolled in several online courses. I sharpened the skill that God hardwired into my DNA at birth. I practiced my writing craft on Medium, published a fantasy football book on Amazon, and recently wrote another book about surviving midlife without a crisis. I don’t say any of this to brag. Lord knows my book sales and follower count aren’t rocketing me to riches and fame anytime soon, but that’s not the point.
I’m pursuing the unique calling God created for me.
Don’t dread Monday mornings
I may never break any world records, have adoring fans throw roses at my feet, or even be hired by kings. I may never recoup my expenses for publishing my books, and it’s okay. I’m rich in purpose now, which pleases my Creator and me. And I’ve never been more excited to wake up on Monday mornings. That’s a win!
What about you? God created and equipped you for a purpose. Ask Him what it is, especially if you’re in the settled, quiet stage of midlife now.
Living with purpose is the cure to surviving midlife without a crisis.
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