It feels like it happened quickly: first seminary, then marriage and babies, pastoring a church, and the stuff of life in between. I was married in 1981, graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and became a father in 1982, and was leading a church by 1983. So something always filled the empty spaces of my life—the voices of my children, the highs and lows of ministry, and daily parish life.

Then I blinked, and our three daughters had grown up and left the safety of our home for college and marriage and to make uniquely blessed lives of their own. Things quieted, and I struggled with the new mathematical configuration of my family home, reduced now to two. That's when my physical health began to feel the impact of my expanding waistline and a sometimes uncooperative maturing and aching body.

Middle age. For some, those two simple words can instill fear. All of us have heard stories from friends about someone in the midst of midlife and the shiny new sports car. In an effort to ...

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