So, I hit my mid 30’s today. And since the average lifespan is relatively 70, I guess that puts me at “mid-life”. I know that the 50’s are usually associated with the “mid-life” crisis but I feel I’m being a little presumptuous to think I’ll make it to 100 or more. The 30’s are an interesting time of life. When I was in my teens, I perceived the 30’s as being old. And I assumed that by the time I reached those years, life would be pretty settled and on course. That is not the case in so many ways. I still have a part of me that is searching for who I am and where I’m supposed to be in the world. I still feel I’m in transition. Actually, there seems to be strong Biblical support for what Dr. Black calls the “age thirty transition”. I’ve not read his book that covers this subject but I heard him speak on it at a small conference years ago. The concept is simply that the age 12 and the age 30 are transition ages in Scripture. At age 12, one becomes a young adult (at least, in the generations of old this was true) and then the age 30 was when one transitions to full adulthood. It is also a transition when one becomes aware of their mortality and the realization that life will pass them by if they don’t get settled and find their place.
It is an interesting thought and one that seems supported by experience if not Scripture. I won’t go into his argument here (the links below point to his book and to a sermon on this) but I can testify to the feeling. It is only in my thirties that I have begun to feel comfortable in my own skin and with who I am. It wasn’t until my thirties that I began to feel comfortable around “adults”, began to think of the rest of my life, and began to worry about my health. Of course, my experience is not the norm for all but I believe many could testify.
I’m 35 now. If God is willing, I have many years to live. And if the age thirty transition has any merit to it (and I personally buy into much of it), I’m just beginning to live life at its best and fullest. The second half is the best half. It not only encourages me to look forward to what God is about to do in me and through me; it reminds me to ease up on those younger than me who are still transitioning. I give them grace and see them all wearing signs that say “under construction”. And don’t think that the construction project ends when you hit thirty or thirty-five. The sign is just changed to read “Under Construction - sorry for the delay”.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6 (NASB)
Age 30 Transition sermon
Dr. Black’s book
Guest Post by Chris