The Best Part About Becoming an Old Man

By | October 29, 2017

Without any doubt, the fiftieth year has been the most challenging. I’ve been reduced to the boy more this past year than any other adult year – I think. I’ve had to let go of pride. No great loss. Made better for surviving a series of trivial humiliations. Letting go of things that were never mine. Letting go of other things that were only mine yet should never have been.

I had my midlife crisis at forty. Two months of depression leading up to the day 40 came. My poor new wife had no idea who I really was. Frightening for her and I alike. Kicked in the pants by a shrewd therapist (which was what I needed) on August 9, 2007. Then God put the lights on again through Proverbs – an eighteen-month adventure of mystery and discovery that created within me the passion to write. Haven’t stopped since. And all I did was read Proverbs eighteen times. But one thing I’ve learned: never say never, though I’ve had to learn that again and again. I’ve had to accept, in some areas, I’m a slow learner; an early adopter, but a slow learner.

The period of the past 343 days or so has encapsulated a massive excursion of reflection – of positive cognisance of who I am, rather than what I hadn’t achieved (which led to the calamity at 40). God took me out of the arena for such a time as this has been, and He plunged me into another, the Refiner’s fire. It’s like turning 49 was serendipitously the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I still cannot explain it. It’s how God works in my life; the miraculous is blissfully inexplicable, often borne through the bowels of pain.

I promised myself I’d get in shape. My diet has changed a lot during the past twelve months. Some patterns for health established. But more than that. I’m in better shape for the things I’ve had to do that I didn’t want to do; for the times I’ve found myself at the end of myself, with no empathy for the pathetic shadow I’d become. Each time though, without knowing how or why, God resurrected me, without my even anticipating it. I didn’t get what I deserved. (I deserved dirt.) I ended up so much better off. Each and every time.

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