By Debra Torres My daughter’s betta, “Bubbles,” has been doing the “dead man’s float” in his fish tank for a few weeks now.
His once majestic and feathery scarlet fins now lay in a matted heap as he floats on his side at the top of the water.
Thinking he’s a goner, I gently tap on the side of the tank each time I pass. But no, he flaps his little fins in response, letting me know he hasn’t succumbed quite yet.
I drop a few pellets of food down to him near his mouth, and he wildly tries to right himself so he can eat. And sometimes he surprises me by swallowing a few pellets.
Surely, he’s trying to hang on.
Poor Bubbles. We’ve had him for nearly four years now, and he’s doing his best during his lastdays.
He’s not quite ready yet to pass on from this life, and I don’t have the heart to flush him until I know for sure that he’s gone.
Bubbles is struggling through a difficult season of his fishy life
As I turned 45 this past summer, I think I officially entered my own mysterious season -- middle age. And, I find that as I am plunged into these midlife years, I have more questions than answers about them.
Whether we like it or not, aging happens doesn’t it?
Sometimes, I feel like I’d like to do a vigorous back peddle and return to a season when I was younger – when my jeans fit a little looser, and I remembered if I fed the dog or not.But you know, tempting as it is, that would be a difficult trade off because, well, I didn’t know as much then as I do now.
I have an Aunt who jokingly calls her brief moments of forgetfulness: “senior moments,” and I think that I’m suddenly realizing what she is talking about.
Aging can be a scary thing. But you know, I found a scripture in my daughter’s devotional the other day that encouraged me: “I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” Isaiah 46:3b-4.
You see, we have a God that promises to never leave us or forsake us. He was with us at our conception, and he’ll be with us till our last breath.
And I’m finding that one of the exciting things about growing older is the ability to focus afresh on God’s purpose for my life.
I have a friend who is “retiring” from his successful architectural business after 30 years, and now at the age of 64 is refocusing his life on a ministry he feels called to.
What an awesome opportunity to use all of the wisdom and skill that God has sowed in him over the years to help others. I love it!
My friend told me about the book, “Half-Time: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance,” by Bob Buford. And it looks like an inspiring read for all of us who are making our way through these “middle years” and beyond.
A description of the book reads: “In Halftime, Buford focuses on this important time of transition--the time when, as he says, a person moves beyond the first half of the game of life. It's halftime, a time of revitalization and for catching new vision for living the second, most rewarding half of life. As Buford explains, 'My passion is to multiply all that God has given me, and in the process, give it back.'”
Sounds interesting right? I know what’ll be in a few of our stockings this Christmas!
So, if you’re like me and you’re navigating through mid life or beyond, I don’t think there is any reason to go into “crisis mode.” This could be a time of great opportunity, a time to look at what we really want to do – what we are really supposed to do and have at it.
I don’t know that our Bubbles will be given the same opportunity that we have, but hey, if given the option, I have a feeling he would jump at the chance.
Here are some Bible versesthat'll help you on your journey:
Psalm 71:17-18 New Living Translation
O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
Job 12:12 New International Version
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
Proverbs 9:10-11 New American Standard Bible
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.