The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Passing 50

It's the time of life to be out on the frontier of my faith

Somewhere between turning 40, “the old age of youth,” and passing 50, “the youth of old age,” it hit me: I’m too old to wear uncomfortable shoes or a comfortable faith. I don’t have time for a safe, pew-sitting Christianity.

I want to be out on the frontier of my faith, where the Spirit blows more powerfully. I want to test more of Jesus’ promise to move mountains and heal through his people. I want to take on more of the big evils of the world in my prayer life—like the rulers of terrorist nations, corrupt governments, and the growing and harvesting of plants used in the illegal drug trade.

Maybe I’ll never go to exotic lands and do mission work, but, then again, maybe I will. Either way, I can pray my way into systems and institutions and structures that are evil, humanly degrading and against the kingdom of God. I can do that for the rest of my life. That isn’t dependent on my physical state—only on my spiritual state, which always needs to be increasing even as my body is decreasing.

There are twists in this new road past 50, some really tricky ones. But I hate driving the straight highways through Kansas and, while I may get a bit carsick on some of the turns in the mountains of Colorado where I live, I wouldn’t want to miss the tantalizing glimpses of my destination in the higher elevations as I move further up and further in.


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