Middle Age Seeing the stranger in the mirror through gospel eyes
Middle Age: Introduction What are your gut reactions to the phrase: “Middle Age”
Middle Age I just get this picture coming into my head of a slightly paunchy man slouched on a sofa in front of the TV.
Middle-Age Definition Traditional • Childhood 0-13 • Youth 13-18 • Young Adulthood 18-25 • Prime 25-40 • Middle Age 40-60 • Old Age 60 – whenever
Middle-Age Definition - traditional Middle Age • 35-55? • 40-60? • 45-65? • 40-70?
Middle Age: Definition Middle Age iswhenyourealisethereis a vast media conspiracy to set type too small
Middle Age - Definitions Middle Age is when you realise there is a vast media conspiracy to set type too small
Middle Age - Definition Middle age is when broadness of the mind and the narrowness of the waist change places
Middle Age: Definition Middle Age is when we all have the face we deserve
Middle Age - definitions “Middle Age is when you realise the people running the country are younger than you”
Middle Age - Definition When you look in the mirror and a stranger looks back
Middle Age: Christopher Hamilton • Nostalgia, the loss of one’s youth • The giving up of plans • Restlessness, Loneliness • The search for identity • The sense that life has become boring or has ground to a halt
Middle Age – Realities “Every day I am aware that my brain thinks in a different way from twenty years ago.”
Middle Age: Realities Physical changes Mental changes Life changes
Middle Age: Christopher Hamilton The sense that life has become boring or has ground to a halt
Middle Age – Miseries What are the hardest things about middle age?
Middle Age – Miseries “Too old to be cool.”
Middle Age miseries “For a day or two after I turned 50, I was pretty miserable……perhaps I was feeling that this was the beginning of a decline into old age.” “growing awareness of the onset of decline”
Middle Age - Miseries Middle age getting to the brow of the hill you've been aiming at all your life and looking over the edge to the bottom of the other side
Middle Age – Miseries “Middle age for me started when I realised that I was actually going to die. Until then it was something I knew in an abstract way, but hadn’t really taken on board.”
Middle Age Miseries “Middle aged = "weighed down by responsibility”. Just back from a week of "holiday" in Portugal with the kids!”
Middle Age Miseries “You do realize you sent this to me on my birthday? (Middle age is when that sort of question makes you want to chuck it all and just give up altogether.)” “Middle age is when everything starts slowing down.
Middle Age Miseries “No longer able to sleep off overwork with a single night's rest. Realising you'll never be a professional sportsman. Will I still be attractive to my partner as the hairs on my head (and body!) grey and the the wrinkles increase?
Middle Age: Crises Had a breakdown with 5 months off work Been on prozac (briefly) and had therapy (lots) Started going to rock concerts Grown my hair very long and cut it very short Started marathon running Taken up painting and the piano
Middle Age: Crises Where do people go off the rails in their marriages and their faith, in middle age?
Middle Age Opportunities Opportunities even when we simply see Middle age through natural eyes
Middle Age: opportunities My job involves teaching Cambridge veterinary students between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one. Most of them are brighter than me and all of them are quicker than me, yet I can usually stay a stage or two ahead of them…..Of course we oldies know more than the students do but this alone would not be enough if our thinking skills were deteriorating. To me it seems that we stay ahead not by thinking more, or harder, and certainly not more quickly but by thinking differently……We do not get obviously cleverer or stupider in middle age, but instead we change the mental means by which we achieve the same intellectual ends.
Middle Age: opportunities Actually things can improve in middle age. When a chap is young, he can be impatient in sex. When he is older and the libido is slightly reduced, he can be more willing to take the time to pleasure his wife. A happier experience for both of them. If you decide to mention this, perhaps it had better be unattributed :-)
Middle Age: opportunities Middle Age is also a period of using one’s increased stamina to work incredibly hard. Holding down a job or two as well as working on community/charitable projects and keeping up with one’s children. much of uncertainty about life path has been resolved - for better or worse. So you know where you are!
Middle Age: opportunities i quite like feeling old enough to begin (gradually) to stop caring what people think of me – ….getting old enough to finally stop pursuing the fantasy that i will ever be perfect or that i have the ability to change the world....
Middle Age: opportunities Nurturing the next generation David Bainbridge
Middle Age - Opportunities The longing that dare not speak its name, which assails us so powerfully at mid life, is the longing to find a spiritual context that will be capable of dissolving our anxieties, integrating our energies, transcending our egotism and endowing our lives with meaning – without at the same time insulting our intelligence. Jane PoldenRegeneration
Middle Age: Viewed through Gospel Eyes Processing the Past through the Gospel
Middle Age: Viewed through Gospel Eyes Processing the Past through the Gospel • Anger and Bitterness • Regret and Disappointment • Guilt and Shame • Smugness and self-congratulation
Middle Age: Viewed through Gospel Eyes Processing the Past through the Gospel • Guilt and Shame • Smugness and Self-Righteousness Repentance and Faith
Middle Age: Viewed through Gospel Eyes Processing the Past through the Gospel • Anger and Bitterness • Regret and Disappointment Submission, Acceptance and Faith ‘God meant it for good to accomplish what is now being done’ – Genesis 50:50
Middle Age: Viewed through Gospel Eyes Processing the Past through the Gospel • Process means process • We can expect progress through process
Middle Age – Processing the past through the gospel • What difference does the gospel make to me as I look back at our lives from the vantage point of mid-life? • What do I need to seek assurance of forgiveness for? • What may I need to forgive and accept?
Middle Age: Embracing the Present through the Gospel Seeing this moment as a God given one Seeing this stage of life as one in which I can grow in Christ and serve Him differently and fruitfully
Middle Age: Viewed through Gospel Eyes Embracing the Present through the Gospel Watching for temptation
Middle Age: Embracing the Present The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather [for a devil]. it is so hard for these creatures to persevere. The routine of adversity, the gradual decay of youthful loves and youthful hopes, the quiet despair of ever overcoming the chronic temptations with which we have again and again defeated them, the drabness which we create in their lives and the inarticulate resentment with which we teach them to respond to it—all this provides admirable opportunities of wearing out a soul by attrition.
Middle Age: Embracing the Present If, on the other hand, the middle years prove prosperous, our position is even stronger. Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it’, while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth, which is just what we want. CS Lewis
Middle Age: Crises I have seen a number of Christian people struggling with the whole 'mid life crisis' thing and not seeming to handle it too well. It is a time of huge spiritual and doctrinal dangers as well as moral and psychological ones. The temptation to embrace a less conservative theology, or to suddenly fall into radical thinking (perhaps in the hope of rediscovering some youthfulness again) or just to get bored of church or cynical seems to be quite prevalent. It seems like it's a period in life which needs a strong sense of theological discipline and even accountability. The sense that what one learned in ones young adult years is now to be regarded as superficial and inadequate and insufficiently sophisticated or spiritually unnourishing is dangerous
Middle Age: Embracing the Present through the Gospel Embracing our opportunity to serve and help the previous generation – “the biggest challenge we now face is the one of generations; we have 5 grandchildren but also 3 sick parents.”
Middle Age: Embracing the Present through the Gospel Embracing our opportunity to serve and help the previous generation – Honour your mother and father – Exodus 20:12 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8
Middle Age: Embracing the Present through the Gospel Embracing our opportunity to serve and help the next generation – • teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live …….to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children… Titus 2:3-4
Middle Age: Embracing the Present through the Gospel How can I grow in Christ, serve and adapt in new ways?