“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’”1
It began to happen soon after his 50th birthday. Until then Bill had always been reliable, dependable, a successful business man, a good husband, father and provider.
First, he went out and bought a new trendy wardrobe more suitable for a twenty-something man; then he changed his hair style, dyed his graying hair black, and traded in his late-model family car for a hip sports car. He said he didn’t like his work anymore—work that he had always enjoyed. He was depressed, started drinking more with the “boys,” came home late from work more often, and complained to his wife about their growing apart. He said he needed space to “think” about things, and hinted at divorce.
Bill is experiencing what many men go through in their mid-years. He’s in the throes of a mid-life crisis. As he looked back over his life and could now see the end in view, he wondered if he had achieved anything truly meaningful. His business and financial success, with all the material possessions he worked so hard for, left him feeling empty and unfulfilled. He now worries about the future and has convinced himself that it will just be more of the same—ad infinitum?
Unless Bill realizes what he is experiencing and gets some counseling help, rather than further acting out his unrealistic fantasies, he will cause serious heartbreak for his family and possible disaster for himself.
The sooner we men learn that significance is much more important than what the Western world has defined for us as success, and that purpose is of far greater value than possessions, the better off and healthier we can be for the rest of our lives—physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
If, when we come to the end of life’s journey and want to have a sense of significance in that we have contributed to the betterment of mankind in some small way, it is imperative that we discover our God-given life-purpose (that will be serving people in one way or another), and dedicate the rest of our life to fulfilling that purpose.
And by the way, we are never too old to begin that journey.
As God’s Word reminds us, “Then he [Jesus] said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’"1
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to discover my God-given life purpose and dedicate myself to the fulfillment of this purpose so that when I stand before You face to face, I will not feel that I have lived in vain. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Luke 12:15 (NIV).