Mid-Life Crisis    Second Half Significance

If you are between 40 and 50 years old like me, you are in the prime time for a mid-life crisis. For many, that results in “trading up” for a better car, house, or (gulp) spouse in a misguided way to resolve feelings caused by entitlement, or not quite getting it right the first time. I’d like to suggest a different path that has a much better outcome for all involved.

Last month we discussed the importance of making the “dash” between our birth and death dates matter eternally by focusing on eternal, not temporary treasures (summarized on my home page: AnEternalImpact.com). One of the books that really impacted me and thousands of others has been Halftime by Bob Buford. Listed below are some quotes from his book:

“During the first half of your life, you probably did not have time to think about how you would spend the rest of your life. You probably rushed through college, fell in love, married, embarked on a career, climbed upward, and acquired a few things to help make the journey comfortable.

You played a hard-fought first half. You even may have been winning. But sooner or later you begin to wonder if this really is as good as it gets. Somehow, keeping score does not offer the thrill it once did.

If the first half was a quest for success, the second half is a journey to significance. The game is won or lost in the second half, not the first.”

If success is defined by money and possessions, I can guarantee that you are in the top 1% of successful people in the world (see www.globalrichlist.com to discover your rank). So what are you going to do with your first half success? You have more education, skill, money, and opportunity than almost anyone who ever has lived on earth. One of my favorite and most impactful verses is in Luke chapter 12, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

How about transforming your first half success into second half significance?

When you start to consider this transition, don’t rush through the process. Take your time (months or more) and deliberately assess your strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Thoughtfully determine how you can have the greatest eternal impact. You don’t want to venture down a decade-long path that will result in little gain. Talk with others who understand your passions and can help you honestly assess your life and your dreams. Experiment by volunteering in different high impact areas or taking a short trip to a different part of the world. These “low cost probes” will go a long way in clarifying your second half. And most importantly, make sure those who offer advice know that your plans may not be “financially prudent” through the eyes of our world, but may be right on track through the eyes of God. It will take courage.

If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to read Halftime and begin the exciting and rewarding journey toward a second half of significance.