Before We Age: Preventing a Mid-Life Crisis

23 May

Why we entitled our blog “Before We Age.”

From a young age, I remember hearing enough people voice a wistfulness for not doing something while they were still young and able. Those voices have shaped me. Their wisdom to “seize the day” and “do it while you can” have been a guiding factor in many of my life transitions.


For example, I left a corporate gig in Houston to study Family Therapy at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California, even though I didn’t really want to be a Family Therapist. Many of my fellow students and professors rightly asked me with the most confused facial expressions possible, “Why?”

Eventually, I learned to half-jokingly tell them I was preventing a mid-life crisis.

One day I’ll want to go to grad school to study this stuff, but won’t be able to because I’ll have bills to pay and kids to feed. I just thought I’d get it out of the way, so I don’t go crazy later.” No one ever seemed to walk away satisfied by that!

But that’s it. I still think that way. I don’t want to be wistful about my life when I get older. I want to live a life of as few regrets as possible. I want to love people, serve God, and enjoy this life while God allows me to.

Sometimes the decision is to stay put for a while and invest in people. Other times the decision is to go after the unique moment. For the past 4 1/2 years I’ve tried to serve well at SPCC, even though there were times I wanted to leave. If had I left with everyone else, I would have regretted it. I stayed and God blessed.

Going to Argentina is the same thing: it’s a unique moment that must be followed. It’s us trying to heed the wisdom of so many wistful adults and the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 12:1:

Remember your Creator

in the days of your youth,

before the days of trouble come

and the years approach when you will say,

“I find no pleasure in them.”

Moving to Argentina is about us taking these last few “pre-parent” years of our life to enjoy a unique opportunity. It’s about us enjoying the days of our youth since God only gives us these years once.

But if you ask me again, I’ll just tell you that I’m preventing a mid-life crisis.

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6 Responses to “Before We Age: Preventing a Mid-Life Crisis”

  1. Peter May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I always love reading your writing and your theological and philosophical reflections on things. Just remember, in this next stage in Argentina, stay vulnerable!!!

    • Stephen May 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

      “Vulnerable” is my middle name. I wear no armor. :)

  2. Corinne Bergmann May 24, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    When we were living in Guatemala, and even now in CA, people would always say, “now’s the time to do that, while your still young” and I always thought to myself, “don’t assume I’m going to stop when I’m old.” We may settle down. And we may not. But I’ve never felt like my life had to look a certain way at any age.

    • Stephen May 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      It’s not so much the age thing as it is the parent thing. Those two are normally correlative, which is why we speak in terms of age. The options for mobility reduce when you have kids, so I hear. I trust that.

  3. Aunt Anne May 24, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    I get it! Looking forward to enjoying the adventure vicariously.

    • Stephen May 31, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      Thank you! And we look forward to sharing it with you.

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