Half-Life

Well, today I’ve reached my Mosesian half-life.1

That’s probably exaggerating a bit. Modern medical technology is making the average life span ever longer. But on the other hand, we are never guaranteed another day or even minute.

It’s strange to think about all the same. By one measure, my life is half over. Aren’t I supposed to be having a crisis now? I said this to a friend the other day and his reply was, “You are. You quit your job and came back to school.” If that’s so, well, it’s kind of tame, isn’t it. No Harley or leather jacket or tattoo or anything. Oh well. Such is me.

There are many regrets, of course. How could there not be when I sin like I do? But I’m not dwelling on them. Mostly today I’ve been thinking about the Lord’s kindness and mercy to me despite all of those things. I’ve been praying for the coming years: that God would help me shake off the burdens and redeem the years I’ve lost and make me fruitful as his follower (to the praise of His glory).

The following song really sums up how I feel right now. It both looks forward to the end and aims for what might be accomplished in the interim. It’s very others-focused. [listen]

The Invisible Choir by Kris Delmhorst

lyrics adapted from: George Eliot, “The Choir Invisible

Oh may I join that invisible choir
I want to join that invisible choir
Made of those sweet immortal voices
That lift our hearts up higher

I want to live after I die
I want to live after I die
I want to make a bit of beauty
And leave a little light behind

Or be the balm to someone’s sadness, the song for someone’s gladness,
A cup of strength to someone in their fight
Or maybe sweeten an existence, inspire a persistence,
Or breathe the breath that makes the spark of love burn bright

Oh may I reach the heaven most high
I want to reach that heaven most high
And be a little star a shining
In someone’s darkest night

———————————

1Psalm 90: A PRAYER OF MOSES, THE MAN OF GOD

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You return man to dust
    and say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
    are but as yesterday when it is past,
    or as a watch in the night.

5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
    in the evening it fades and withers.

7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
    by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
    yet their span is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12 So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!
(English Standard Version)

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