A walkthrough and commentary of Michelle Van Loon's book, Becoming Sage.
“[M]aturity is not a destination, but an ongoing process.”
So says Michelle Van Loon in her recent book, Becoming Sage: Cultivating Meaning, Purpose, and Spirituality in Midlife.
In the Western culture, there is a large emphasis on youth and youthfulness. What is considered valuable, attractive, and celebrated is what is youthful. The Church in the West is not immune to this emphasis.
“Those approaching the second half of life often feel like their time has come and gone. This feeling can seem validated when culture - and often churches too. - prioritizes the needs and elevates the value of youth.”
Many in midlife or older feel they have “aged out” of their churches. Because much of the effort in evangelism and discipleship are geared towards new families. “[A] high percentage of our churches,” says Van Loon, “tend to approach the task of discipleship with a strong focus on early-stage faith training.” The Western Church has left behind those in the second half of their life behind in hopes of reaching a younger, hipper crowd. Is their room to grow beyond the early stage of discipleship training?
Van Loon argues this new stage in life gives an opportunity for those in midlife and beyond to grow in their faith to full maturity and becoming a sage.
“Midlife holds for each one of us the invitation to become sage - a way of life in which a person expresses experience, knowledge, insight, and self-mastery. That invitation to grow in wisdom can be well-disguised in the often-disorienting shifts that is characterized this life stage.”
There is more room to grow, more life to live, more ways to follow our Saviour.
“God doesn’t offer us a fountain of youth. He is instead calling us toward maturity while promising fruitfulness in every season of our lives…”