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Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Spiritual Fitness Check-up for the 50-something Woman

Sharon V. King, PhD
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” 1 Corinthians 13:12 

Can you read the letters on that chart?

 “In a word, doctor, ‘No!’ I can’t see those tiny letters—who could?” I often get frustrated during eye exams. I have astigmatism and a fairly strong lens prescription. Why on earth would someone give me a chart with teeny letters and ask me to read them? Is the goal to prove that I still need glasses?  Everyone who has had a lens prescription upgraded in the past five years, please raise your hand. Among the many midlife adjustments we have to make, we may find ourselves fitted for a set of bifocals long before we thought we were old enough for them.

For midlife folks who grew up before the computer age, we had no way of knowing that one day much of our existence—from the work we do to the Christmas gifts we buy—would be governed by our ability to read small letters on a computer screen.  We live in an era when accurate vision is essential to accessing even the most basic information. It’s quite a challenge!

You may be familiar with the saying, “What you see is what you get.” We all know (or have known) people to whom that statement does not apply. What you see in some people can be far more or far less than what you get. Consider your high school classmates—“those most likely to succeed” and other “most likely to” groups. Some did not live up to their potential, while others may have exceeded expectations. At that stage of life, we were quick to judge others by their outward appearances or personalities. For some of us, that tendency to judge people’s “books” by their covers has followed us into later life.

What about your assessment of God? Has your view of Him changed through the years? Unfortunately, we sometimes apply our high school values to our relationship with the Lord. If He gives us what we want, we keep Him on our “most popular people” list. Not all the life charts God hands us have nice, big easy-to-read letters. By midlife, we have encountered a lot of “fine print” which seems to make absolutely no sense. When the message is difficult to see, God can provide illumination through His word to help us draw closer to Him.

Spiritual Pulse Check

        Here’s an opportunity to conduct your own spiritual vision test:

·         Identify three differences in the way you view your spiritual life now, compared to an earlier stage of your life.
·         What three people have most influenced your spiritual life (for better or worse)?
·         How would you “rate” yourself as a witness for Christ? Very effective? Somewhat effective? Ineffective? Give reasons for your rating.
·         How do you think God would describe you?

About the author:

Sharon is a retired gerontology professor turned author of self-help
devotional books for 50+ women. A native of Pennsylvania and now a
resident of Georgia (Go Braves!), Sharon has published several
inspirational ezine articles, Christian Education curricula, and
academic journal articles about religion and aging. Sharon's first
book, The Spiritual Fitness Check-up for the 50-something Woman, is
available on Amazon and at Her second
book, Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Pslam, is under contract with
Anaiah Press ( for publication in 2015. Connect
with Sharon on Facebook, Twitter, and on her

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