I am an avid student of mid-life crises. The similarity of each one is fascinating (and terrifying the more gray hair I find in the mirror). Most happen when someone becomes afraid their life won’t matter, or they’ve somehow missed out.
They haven’t ridden a bull down Mount Everest or fallen into a public fountain while making out with their significant other. And there isn’t a string of educated letters after their name (it’s not even a well-known name at all).
But can you fault them? They just want to live an adventure. Yet that’s exactly where the problem lies – they don’t know what it means to live an adventure. In their minds, adventure looks a lot like a sexy, action movie filled with fast-paced cities or rugged mountains. Whatever it is, it’s certainly a far cry from their hum-drum soccer schedule work week. So, they freak out one day and do all sorts of silly (or harmful) things.
Though that day is fast-approaching, I have a plan for stopping it before I buy shark diving lessons in Fiji. Success isn’t waiting for me in Fiji anyway.
Adventure happens when I choose faithfulness, wisely, every day.
Lest you think that sounds too boring and over-spiritual, the most exciting lives I’ve ever heard of followed that principle; successful men and women who took risks that mattered. Success doesn’t pit goals against godliness. It just has the right perspective of career, family, money, and eternity.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
Although we don’t know who wrote this (he is referred to only as “Preacher”), many think it was King Solomon or someone much like him; a man with extraordinary wisdom and wealth who had access to every network, business venture, and pleasure available at the time. Whoever it was, he had seen it all and called it “wind-chasing.” Super encouraging, right?
Under the Sun
It might help to know that the phrase “under the sun” was what kept ancient readers from plummeting into Nihilistic despair. In Hebrew expression, God and His ways were always portrayed as being higher than the heavens (Isaiah 55:9, Psalm 103:11). So, the original readers heard, “If what I’m chasing is under the sun, it’s vanity. This man has experienced all of it and concluded that it’s meaningless without God.”
If he were alive today, it might read something like, “Go for it! Climb whatever ‘Mount Everest’ is for you. Become well-known in respected circles, run with the bulls, become CEO of a Fortune 500, publish your books, travel the world, perform a TED talk, experience the perfect relationship, and retire with tons of money to leave your kids…I did all of those. And let me tell you one thing for certain, unless God is at the center, it’ll be forgotten like the wind.”
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Adventure happens when I choose faithfulness, wisely, every day. It will take me on a joy-filled journey into a Kingdom that will never fade (unlike the motorcycle I may be tempted to buy when my hair recedes).
May your adventure be more than decades of wind-chasing.
For more, check out “Stress vs. Success: Do You Know the Difference?”