lessons learned: the journey of mid-life

In the past few years, I have spent much time discerning who I am on this journey.  I am traveling down the path of mid-life which has caused me to reflect on where I’ve come from, where I am, and where I’ll go.  Some days, I don’t feel so “comfortable” as I travel, taking me back to the days of long car trips when I was little.

My sister and I would stuff ourselves into the back seat of the station wagon with pillows, books, activities, and dolls.  We were glad to have left home behind and looked forward to playing in the ocean, but the car ride was, well, just ugh!  We’d find contentment for a bit then get restless and bored.  It would feel like we were never going to get there, and yet, we wanted to stop and get out along the way.  We’d fuss and fight with each other then end up sharing toys and passing time together.  Our saving grace was the sign announcing that we’d reach our destination just over the next bridge.

Mid-life can seem that way some days.  I’m glad I’ve left my youth behind, and I look forward to the days ahead filled with rest and relaxation.  For now, however, the journey is more of a balancing act–appreciating both the joys and challenges of the present.  Day by day, I’m learning to get comfortable with the ride.

And so, recently, when a friend gave me a new book, I was delighted to find this prayer tucked away in the section designated just for mid-life.  Clearly, it is becoming a mainstay in my daily quiet time as the pages already look worn and well-loved.  This morning, I’d like to share it with you.

A Prayer in ‘The Middle Years’ of Opportunity

Lord, help me now to unclutter my life,

to organize myself in the direction of simplicity.

Lord, teach me to listen to my heart;

teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it.

Lord, I give You these stirrings inside me,

I give You my discontent,

I give You my restlessness,open door

I give You my doubt,

I give You my despair,

I give You all the longings I hold inside.

Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth;

to listen seriously and follow where they lead

through breathtaking empty space of an open door.

~from Celtic Daily Prayer:  Prayers and Readings form the Northumbria Community

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