After decades of busy involvement, deep commitment, passionate vision … there often comes a deep-souled wondering … an inner pause in the midst of all the busyness. Usually something jolts us to recognize this deep, quiet wondering in the heart: a broken relationship, deep fatigue, an accident, betrayal, disillusionment. An unwelcomed intrusion into our lives stops the treadmill of commitment, and then we become aware of our heart’s wondering.
It catches us by surprise. We were not expecting this.
Here’s good news in the midst of the unsettledness: others have felt this too. For example, the poet Dante wrote:
Midway this way of life we’re bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
Ay me! How hard to speak of it that rude
And rough and stubborn forest! The mere breath
Of memory stirs the old fear in the blood;
It is so bitter, it goes nigh to death;
Yet there I gained such good, that, to convey
The tale, I’ll write what else I found therewith . . . .
… so begins his epic poem The Divine Comedy.
A modern writer describes it this way:
Some years into our spiritual journey, after the waves of anticipation that mark the beginning of any pilgrimage have begun to ebb into life’s middle years of service and busyness, a voice speaks to us in the midst of all we are doing. There is something missing in all of this, it suggests. There is something more. [Eldredge, Sacred Romance]
Read my personal story about this time in my life.
CREST was created to help people at midlife get clarity so their second half is the best half. We all have to do this midlife journey; it sure is easier when we do it with fellow pilgrims. And the rest of the good news is that there is life beyond the wondering. In fact, a wonderful life! Later in his poem, Dante tells of coming out of the unsettled time of ‘midway’:
Then I looked up, and saw the morning rays
Mantle its shoulder from that planet bright
Which guides men’s feet aright on all their ways;
And this a little quieted the affright
That lurking in my bosom’s lake had lain
Through the long horror of that piteous night.