How are you? How are you doing? What’s up?
How do you respond when people check up on you? Do you respond differently to different people? Do you give different answers, some more transparent than others, depending on whom you can trust?
Well, I trust you. Yes, I do. For one reason, you are actually reading this when so many others couldn’t care less. You care enough to get past the introduction.
So, how am I doing? Not well.
I think it was my wife (I can’t remember) who asked me the other day, “Are you having a mid-life crisis?” “Maybe I am,” I replied. I haven’t researched it, so I don’t know. However, I would bet that a definition would include a picture of someone that looks eerily like me.
For one thing, five decades worth of mistakes, miscalculations, stupid decisions, and squandered opportunities continually plague my memories. It’s not that I sit around and meditate on my past until I think of something depressing; they are triggered by ordinary things like a store at the mall, a movie, a song, a smell, an event, an expression, etc. I can drive down one road and be hit with 10 regrets in the span of a mile.
Secondly, there’s all the things I could have done and should have done. Have I accomplished anything? Of course. But when I am in a group of others who’ve accomplished anything similar, I feel like a fake, an imposter. I should be able to fit in, but now I never feel worthy.
I’m not a spiritual giant or anything. I’m not that great of a speaker. I have a very hard time praying. And, based on my cumulative experience, I’m a lousy pastor. Yet, that is all I’ve ever really wanted to be. I wanted to be “man of the Book,” a man with worn knees, a figure behind the pulpit my children would tell their children about.
But here I am, pushing 56 years old, a new employee in an automotive factory, with no savings, no home, a literal antique car to drive, and no real desire to pastor another church.
Simply put, I don’t know who I am anymore. For that matter, I’m not sure I ever did.
I don’t know where life is going to find me 5 or 10 years from now. However, even though I may never be a leader of anything, I can strive to be a good follower of Jesus.