I didn’t realize I was supposed to be miserable.

August 15, 2007 — Leave a comment

I’m 38.

Boy, that sounds strange. How did I get here so quickly?

I was told by a former friend 🙂 that my 33rd year would be my most productive year of ministry, but then the tide of public opinion would turn against me . . . . . . .and you get the picture.

Thankfully, he was wrong . . . as far as I can tell.

Aging is more difficult than I thought it would be. I always thought that the use of the word “crisis” to describe what some guys experience during their 40’s was too strong of a word, but the closer I get to 40 the more appropriate that word feels.

I work out hard, try to eat right, live right, spend quality quantity time with my family, be nice to the cat, and get enough rest, so I feel pretty good. In fact, I feel great and as healthy as I did when I was in college.

Aging is difficult, but–in my experience–its not miserable.

I read an article today from the UK that intrigued me. The article was entitled Why the late-30s are a man’s misery years.

Here are some of the most interesting excerpts:

Some might say that all they have to worry about is getting to work on time and the onset of a little middle-aged spread. But men in their late-30s and early-40s are the least content of all of us, it seems.

Whether they are mourning the passing of their prime or struggling to cope with the demands of a job and young family, those aged 35-44 invariably hit a mid-life crisis when their happiness level plunges lower than at any other age, according to a study for the Government.

It makes them the least satisfied members of society, scoring well below teenagers, the elderly – and women of all ages. Researchers found that it takes men until they reach the age of 65 to start enjoying life as much as they did in their late-teens and early-20s.

Women said their worst years were between the age of 25 and 34, when most are coping with young children, but their wellbeing rose steadily as they got older, reaching hit a peak satisfaction level of 7.65 when over the age of 65.

Researchers found that most people rated their time at university as the best years of their life, closely followed by their retirement years. The biggest difference between the sexes was in the contentment of those not working, with women far happier than men to stay at home not seeking work.

Yes–I’m not 40 yet, but I will be in a couple of years, so I know it may be premature to predict this, but–no–I don’t foresee my mid-life as a time during which I’ll be miserable. Not at all.

I’ve had the benefit of being around a lot of godly older men in ministry and it appears to me that their mid-life was the beginning of some of their most productive and joy-filled years of ministry.

Each year of experience, in my opinion, makes life–and ministry–even more sweet.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds and I feel bad for the 35-44 year-old-guys who think their best years are behind them, because–frankly–I think the best years are yet to come.


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