Scared to Run Out of Time

Recently I’ve noticed a common theme creeping into casual conversation with friends and acquaintances.  We’re experiencing an deep understanding within our spirits that life is short and “we are scared to run out of time.”   We’re officially middle aged, which means we are half way through our lives and only have a portion of the time remaining where we will be unencumbered by the struggles and physical ailments of old age; we’re scared to run out of time.  We’re replacing our once lackadaisical attitudes that said “someday I would like to”  with  “I will be” “I must”  “I will find a way”  “now is the time” type of phrases.  

We are realizing that we must not procrastinate a moment  longer, now is the time to decide which items on our long “To Do Someday” list need to be done, now.  We no longer have years to ponder learning the guitar or a second language.   Hard gained wisdom tells us that waiting until life gets easier or less busy is futile, life doesn’t get easier.   Now is the time to respond to that gentle nudging in our spirits about volunteering at the local food bank, shelter, or elementary school.

This heightened awareness of how short and temporal our lives are also brings about a renewed interest in relationships and religion.  We want our lives to have a purpose other than amassing wealth or impressive careers. I have talked with so many friends who are pondering old wounds within their biological families and are genuinely desiring to be an active part in healing that relationship.  Friends who never really talked about God are now wondering out loud about his love and forgiveness while talking about calling old friends they lost contact with or maybe visiting a church in the community.

While observing this collective awakening in my middle aged friends I realized that those of us in the middle years are becoming deeper more thoughtful and purposeful individuals.  We are working hard to fulfill our purpose in Christ whether it’s by deliberately seeking God’s face or by pondering why we are here and what legacy we will leave behind.  Sometimes fear is a good thing and I believe being ‘scared to run out of time” is a blessing that will propel us forward into better humans and creations of God.

I like listening to my IPod while walking and last week I chose to listen to a Bonnie Raitt CD, one I had not listen to in a long time. We live by a marina and I usually get absorbed in the natural beauty surrounding the harbor while walking and don’t really listen to the lyrics of the songs playing on my IPod.   But, While  walking last week  Bonnie Raitt’s song titled Nick of Time came on and the lyrics so described the feelings of a middle aged person that I thought I would include them in this posting.  Below are the lyrics for  verse II and the chorus.

Bonnie Raitt; Nick of Time

Verse II
I see my folks, they’re getting old, I watch their bodies change…
I know they see the same in me, And it makes us both feel strange…
No matter how you tell yourself, It’s what we all go through…
Those eyes are pretty hard to take when they’re staring’ back at you.
Scared you’ll run out of time.

When did the choices get so hard?
With so much more at stake.
Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste.
Hummmm…Scared she’ll run out of time.

I would love to hear if you and your friends are experiencing this middle-aged awakening and what activities you feel are most important to accomplish.  If you have the time please leave a comment in the comment section.  Thanks

 Debora Shelford Hobbs