Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MAP (01/31/19)
- TITLE: The Second Half
By Jennifer Woodley
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Metaphorically speaking, that is where I find myself just now in the second half of life. Our family home has been sold, our sons have moved away, we have relocated to an unfamiliar area in a new home, and as the boxes and bags are unpacked, I am painfully aware of the wide open, blank spaces before me. Now I have stopped and settled, I wonder what shape my new journey will take. There is no map to guide me. No signposts instructing me which way to turn, which landmark to see, and how long it will take to get there. Where are the points of reference I need to give shape and purpose to the weeks ahead? I’m feeling lost and it’s only Monday morning.
When life looks uncertain and there is no map to guide us, we can flounder around in confusion, or determine to put some signposts in place that give us a framework for each day, places to aim for and points of enjoyment along the way. The last thing we want to do is wander around in idle aimlessness, retracing our steps or worse still, going nowhere at all. We need a map in this new season of life so we can discover where we are.
Of course, there’s a temptation to make things happen in order to fill this open space, but at the same time we want to let things happen by waiting upon God. We don’t want to force anything. There’s a balance that needs to be negotiated wisely. We don’t want to step out in any direction just for the sake of doing something. We sincerely want what God desires.
I need community. God made us for each other. That doesn’t mean the community of birds and nocturnal visitors in my backyard that are feasting liberally on the food I offer them. I need people contact. That’s the way I’m wired; to connect deeply and share myself with others. If not, I’ll shrivel up like a wrinkled prune. So I join a local bible study group and venture into my first ever CWA meeting. Like-minded people excite me. These little landmarks anchor my week, pointing which way to go.
I need work. God has given me passions and abilities; work gives me a place to direct these. As a writer, lover of books and all things literary, I could sit in my comfortable study, do another course, write another devotion or indulge in yet another best seller. However, work that feeds my mind and allows me to serve in community brings me the greatest life. Work provides a regular rhythm and another anchor point giving direction and purpose to the week. So I hand out a resume at local businesses, and see what will unfold. I’m not fussy, I don’t have to prove myself or flaunt my talents. I’m secure enough in God’s love for me to know that He will work whatever is for my best.
I need space. To be me. To be creative. To walk. To potter in the garden. To enjoy the Father’s presence and His love letters. Turning the pages again, I worship, wonder and wait. Here are a few more places to visit and enjoy along the way of this new journey. They feel right. They fit well. They provide direction for this second half of life.
As I travel along, the blank sheet of paper is taking shape and form. Roads and destinations, places and points of interest are slowly becoming clearer. As I trust the Creator of my personalized life map, the desires and plans He has drawn for me are materializing. This map I’m following in the second half of life won’t be cluttered or frantic, there’s just enough time and space between places to enjoy the journey. I’m going to live unhurried, with peace and purpose. I can relax, all is well. The Master Designer is doing His great work through me.
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