Walk with Me Through a Midlife Crisis

Desiring God | 5/13/2019 | John Piper
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In 2007, John MacArthur and I were on a panel together discussing discouragement. I gave an example of a “midlife crisis” with this story:

There is something to men in midlife crisis. I remember one time, I was 40, sitting on the steps halfway through vacation sobbing. Noël comes down the steps. She asked, “What’s wrong?” I said, “I don’t have a clue. I don’t have a clue why I’m so sad.” And that season lasted several years, and the grace was that I could still function.

MacArthur - Way

MacArthur was nonplussed. He said, “I’m wired to deal with those in a different way. I can’t imagine just sitting and crying and not knowing why I was doing it.”

It was a memorable — and, in part, hilarious — moment for a few thousand people. You’ll have to listen to the audio to feel the sparkle of that interchange.

Part - Story - Crying - California - Ben

There is an interesting part of my story that didn’t get told. That inexplicable crying happened in California at Ben Patterson’s house, which he was letting us use for a few days while I preached for him in his church. As it happened, as I preached on Father’s Day, Jim Conway, the author of Men in Midlife Crisis, was in the audience.

He came up to me afterward, introduced himself, and said, as I recall, “How old are you?” I said, “40.” He said, “You’ve got a year and a half. Be careful.”

Research - Man - Crisis - Climax - Age

What did he mean? Research had shown that a man’s “midlife crisis” typically came to a climax at the age of 41.5. He used words something like, “Don’t get a motorcycle. Don’t get a sailboat. Don’t leave your ministry, and don’t leave your wife.” It was a timely warning.

Perhaps I can do you the same favor.

Factors - Crisis

I don’t know all the factors that precipitate such a crisis,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Desiring God
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