Is it possible to have a mid-life crisis at 35? I think it must be, because that’s what life feels like these days.
I’ve been struggling with a pornography addiction for over two years, and during those long days I thought I was in “crisis” mode. Then six months ago my third child was born and like someone flipping a switch everything changed in my life. This blog, which I contributed to at least once a day, stopped getting my attention altogether. In the last 180 days I’ve probably written two or three posts rather than the nearly 200 I was on pace for. Sobriety from pornography suddenly became far less important than it used to be and as such I lost my sobriety…but discovered it wasn’t the end of the world. My marriage entered a time of trial but despite that difficulty it’s probably the healthiest thing that’s happened to our relationship since we said “I do”. My house is in foreclosure, I’m in a new job with a new company, church attendance has practically stopped, I don’t write anymore, desire and passion are down across the board…
More than ever I find myself asking, “What the hell am I doing with my life?” The better question probably is, “What the hell should I be doing with my life?” And while I don’t have the answer to that question I know for certain that I’m not happy with who or what I am today.
Do you believe it’s possible to have a “mid-life crisis” at 35? If you’ve been through a “mid-life crisis” would you be willing to share some of your experiences and the things you learned?
A little birthday prank…
A little birthday prank…
Jesus Christ didn’t “just” die on the cross for us.
He gave up the chance to get married,
To have children,
To watch them grow,
To learn to walk,
To learn to talk,
To hold them in His arms.
He gave up the opportunity to have a career,
… To be successful in business,
To make a name for himself,
To be a community leader.
He gave up sunrises and sunsets,
Stargazing and full moons,
And listening to the waves crash against the shore.
He gave up the chance to sit around the fire with friends,
To tell jokes and to laugh at himself.
He gave up the chance to have every good thing people cherish in this life in exchange for a wooden cross, three nails, and a slow, excruciating death.
He gave up those things, He made that exchange, so you and I wouldn’t “just” have those things to look forward to at the start of each day.
Something to think about this Easter season.
“One of the paradoxical bedrock truths of the Twelve-Step program is that we can stay spiritually alive only by giving away what we are receiving.”
J. Keith Miller, A Hunger For Healing
When I read this quote I had a mental picture of a deep well and a bucket being lowered into the well, filling, and being pulled back up. The water in the well only stayed fresh and drinkable if it was (paradoxically) constantly stirred up by the lowering and raising of the bucket. Left alone the water would become stagnant and poisoned.
I am the well; we all are. The water inside me is the water of life Jesus promised to the Samaritan woman at the well in the Gospel of John, Chapter 4. It wells up inside of me, but only if I stir up the water by giving it away. Jesus gave away more than anyone else in history and he was the most spiritually alive person in history. Conversely, consider some of the religious people among us who become the worst of tyrants: They forget that to stay alive they must constantly give away the water of life which they were given. Their ‘bucket’ does not descend and ascend; their water becomes stagnant and poisonous, and they poison everyone around them with hate, bitterness and judgment.
This spiritual principle is real; it’s not a metaphor. If I give away what I’ve learned in the Twelve Steps, I will live. If I keep the information to myself and fail to love those who suffer around me, I will die inside.
Are you stirring up the water of life inside yourself? Have you even received this water yet?
In the nights since the shootings in Connecticut last week I’ve been losing a lot of sleep. I lie awake in bed, but I don’t worry about gun control, school safety or even the safety of my own children. No, I’ve been losing sleep over us, the American public, who seem duplicitous in our grief over the tragic deaths in Sandy Hook.
Children are killed in our country every day through neglect and violence. In the state of Connecticut alone over 13,000 abortions were performed in 2010; that works out to about 35 children killed every day. Thousands of children around the world die on a weekly basis for reasons ranging from malnutrition to open war. Thousands of children around the world are sexually abused on a daily basis.
What is it about the Sandy Hook violence that is different?
Do we feel a poignant sense of loss because these are the children the world wanted? What does that say about us?
Is it because they were white kids from an affluent neighborhood? What if they had been Hispanic kids from El Paso?
Do we see them as our own children and fear for the safety of our own families? Are we THAT selfish?
How can we, on one hand, hear about ten year-old girls working as prostitutes in Thailand and only shed a tear or two (and maybe write a check), then turn around and act outraged at the shooting of ten-year-olds in our own country?
How can we keep ourselves comfortably ignorant of the fact that for every three live births in Connecticut one child is aborted, then turn around and decry gun violence when 20 school-aged children are murdered?
I am in no way trying to detract from the loss and tragic waste this shooting entailed.
I am trying to understand why people think the murder of these children is ‘worse’ than the thousands of acts of violence that affect children around the world every day, as evidenced by the highly emotional reactions involved.
I don’t want our vision to be limited by our press and politicians to a single issue; I want us to think bigger. I want us to embrace the primacy of all human life and consider what we can do today to protect and defend that most valuable commodity.