By: Ginger Hughes
I’m no longer a young person.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like to think of myself as young(ish), but young I am not.
The years of childhood, teenage angst, and even young adulthood are all long gone.
I’m here, somewhere in the middle, though “middle-aged” is not a word I care to use to describe myself no matter how close to the truth it may be.
The view from the middle is interesting.
I’ve lived enough years that I can look back over a span of time, seeing things with wisdom that comes from distance.
I can look forward with hope. Hoping that this is indeed the middle; hoping there are many years left; hoping to live those years fully.
But here in the middle, I know some things. I have learned a bit along the way as I’ve not only experienced many joys but also struggled through darkness. Through the years I’ve witnessed so many others, many much younger than myself, navigate hard times as well.
And as such, I realize there are no guarantees in life. There are no guarantees for success, happiness, or even health. There are no guarantees of many years or even of tomorrow.
So what is guaranteed?
For Christ-followers, we are promised an abundant life in Him if we choose to accept it. And while the thought of abundance satiates our typically self-serving souls, the abundance Jesus speaks of is profoundly different than our earthly whims and pleasures.
Abundance, found in Christ, is characterized by a life filled with grace. It’s a life lived extending mercy. It’s a life full to overflowing with compassion. It’s a life of giving away rather than collecting more. It’s a life of denying self and serving others.
It’s a life of saying not my will Lord, but Your will be done.
And sometimes that’s hard, isn’t it? It’s hard to lay the control we think we have at the feet of Jesus. It’s hard to say, “Jesus, you’ve gifted me with this one life, and I want to live it for you and not for myself.”
Yes, the view here from the middle is interesting indeed. For in looking back, I can see so many things I’ve chased along the way such as perfection, success, happiness, fulfillment, and my own way. None of these pursuits brought true joy. Standing here in the middle, with the past mapped out behind me, and the future an open road in front of me, I can undoubtedly say I want to live the rest of my life following God’s call. I want to live the rest of my life in such a way that it makes a difference for eternity, and not merely for today.
What do you want for the rest of your days? Whether you’re younger, older, or “middle-aged,” how do you hope to live the remainder of your life?
Let’s choose abundance. Let’s enjoy God. Let’s remember to number our days and in so doing, recognize the things that matter and pursue those things.
For it’s only in releasing the tight grip we have on our plans, it’s only in allowing God to have control of our life, that we can find our way to an abundant life.
-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.