“Mid-life crisis” is really about the lack of “Mid-life purpose.” We experience it as a growing concern that something is off, that our energy for life is fading along with an increasing awareness of our mortality. In response, we tend to examine the condition of our life made up of activities, accomplishments, possessions and relationships and we’re left wondering what’s missing.
From there it is easy to be drawn into the seemingly logical thought that if some “thing” is missing then we must need a new thing or a lot more of an old thing. So we convince ourselves that all will be well when we get __X__. Fill in the blank with: new job, new spouse, new car, new house, new clothes, or maybe a new hobby. Warning! Warning! The world has a grip on your “thinker!”
The real answer was discovered long ago by the wisest man who ever lived – Solomon. God gave him wisdom, and because he didn’t ask for wealth God also gave Solomon untold riches. No- the answer is not wisdom or riches.
Despite Solomon’s devoted relationship with God, he drifted away. He used his wealth to partake of every worldly pleasure he could imagine. Solomon concluded that everything he experienced in ruling God’s people that was apart from God was vanity. Vanity is defined as emptiness, falsity, and futility (Amplified Bible).
Solomon’s testimony began with pleasing God, and then fell into progressive withdrawal. He then looked for the answer to his emptiness in the ways and pleasures of the world and ultimately turned back to God. “Painful” is the word Solomon used repeatedly to describe the condition of his heart in the midst of having access to unlimited self indulgences, power and success.
Solomon’s conclusion from all that he experienced was:
“He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]…” Ecclesiastes 3:11, Amplified Bible
God and His purpose through us is the only “thing” that will satisfy the deep longing for purpose that He built into us. Turning back is as simple as engaging in an authentic prayer of repentance and allowing God back into the driver’s seat. I recommend the prayer below to all my clients. I am also in a season of praying this or some version of it almost every morning. I can promise you that God will honor this request. Pray this as often as you feel led:
Heavenly Father, I am sensing a distance from you and your eternal purpose for my life. Forgive me for crowding you out of my life and acting as if you don’t dwell within me through your Holy Spirit. Lord, I invite you to invade my thinking. I want to live this day as if you are in the room with me. I want to be aware of your presence, your love, and your care for me. I know that if I am living out my desire to please you, I will experience the eternal purpose you want for me. Please relieve me of the pain I have suffered from being apart from your purpose. I pray this in the name of your Son Jesus.