"Mid-life crisis." As most people know, it's a term coined to described a period when mature adults, already established in a particular pursuit, may be forced to redefine their goals in life. A homemaker whose children have left the nest, someone whose career has lost its initial challenge, or one who finds himself alone after a period of close companionship may worry what will give life focus in the future.

We all look for purpose. And the Bible assures us that each of us has a purpose much deeper and more lasting than mere human activities, however satisfying these may be or have been. As the prophet Isaiah recorded it, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen." n1

n1 Isaiah 43:10

There are countless ways to serve God.Child-rearing, education, professional career, and hobbies are all avenues in which to manifest the love, wisdom, and strength whose source is God. Human activities are spheres in which to bear witness to the limitless nature of God.

The word "Soul," used as a term for the Supreme Being, describes the infinite creativity and power of expression that belong to God. Soul unexpressed would be impossible, a contradiction in terms. Sould demands expression, and this expression is the spiritual universe, including man. Man's purpose, then, is to fulfil God's demand for expression. And what the Almighty demands is always supplied.

Discovering our relation to Soul gives us a deeper sense of purpose -- and more assurance of our ability to accomplish this purpose -- than we could get in any other way. This discovery reveals two important facts. First, that we are all indispensable in one grand plan, a plan much greater than any we could outline. Second, that as God's loved idea, each of us is developed by divine inteligence to function usefully in His everunfolding design. Mary Baker Eddy n 2 goes to the heart of this relation when she says: "Seperated from man, who expresses Soul, Spirit would be a nonentity; man divorced from Spirit, would lose his entity. But there is, there can be, no such division, for man is coexistent with God.' n3

n2 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;

n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m pp. 477-478

Christ Jesus' keen awareness of his purpose helped him to unparalleled achievements. He said: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" n4 and "I am among you as he that serveth." n5 Engrossed in these objectives, the master Christian had a sense of immortality and unselfishness that not only brought fulfillment to himself but enabled him to accomplish unparalleled good for humanity.

n4 John 18:37;

n5 Lue 22:27.

The material sense of things pictures life as involving four major stages -- birth, adolescence, maturity, death. Following this pattern, it may present a so-called mid-life crisis as occurring somewhere in stage three. Fear of aging may be associated with it.

Christian Science offers a very different view of life. It teaches that the only Life is God, without beginning or end. As synonymous with God, Life and Soul share the same properties. Life is never without its expression, man. Being infinite, Life cannot be divided into finite periods any more than Soul can be divided into limited designs or purposes. As the idea of divine Life, man is immortal and always progressing. He does not build up to a peak of vitality and then decline. He eternally abreast of God's ever-appearing wisdom and love.

The remedy for mid-life (or any time-of-life) crisis is the true understanding of man's unchangeable identity as the representative of divine Life and Soul. No temporary sense of life or purpose belongs to man. His reason for being is no less than to witness God's boundless goodness. And God unfailingly provides the abilities and opportunities for the complete fulfillment of that purpose. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give. II Corinthians 9:7

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