Moses and the Second Midlife

Exodus 3:5-12a

Have you ever noticed that Moses’ life was divided into equal thirds — each lasting 40 years. In the first third he was the adopted child of the Pharaoh, ruler of Egypt. We can imagine Moses growing up in the competitive world of the palace. If you asked him what he wanted, more than anything else, I bet Moses would say that he wished to be successful. Many young adults today are driven by the need to be successful. They want to succeed at work, marry the best spouse, and achieve great things before they are 40.

Moses turns 40. We don’t know if he feels like he has achieved his goal. But, one day he sees an Egyptian overseer beating a Hebrew slave. Moses goes ballistic and kills the Egyptian. Now he’s a fugitive. He goes out into the desert, marries a woman named Zippy, and learns to herd sheep. He herds sheep for the next 40 years. Now ask Moses during this time what he wants from life more than anything else, he’d say he wants security. Now let me ask you — you don’t have to raise your hand — how many of you have noticed that when you shifted from being a young adult to being a more mature adult, that you found yourself looking to play things safe? Wild life is out. Security is in.

Then one day Moses sees a burning bush. At the burning bush, God calls him to leave his security focused life aside. God puts Moses on a new path. The word that describes this new path is significance.

What you need to realize is that this transition from wanting security to wanting to do significant things for God is the 2nd Midlife. Think about your life. Where are you?
Are you seeking success?
Are you trying to find some measure of security and to just get people to stop bothering you?
Or have you had a burning bush experience where you want nothing else from life than to do something significant for God? (Note. Moses was 80 years old when this happens)

Now are you ready for your second Midlife?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning put it this way: (Aurora Leigh )
Earth is crammed with heaven,
And every common bush aflame with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries

From my workshop and book: Finding Shalom
Pentecost 17
Labor Day Weekend