Michael Jordon turned fifty in February. Where did the time go? As I read the recent piece in ESPN magazine on Jordon by Wright Thompson, I felt sad for Michael. Each of us reaches a place in our lives where we realize that most of the living we’ve done is behind us; and I believe it brings us face to face with our own inadequacy.

There wasn’t much Michael Jordon couldn’t do; but he couldn’t slow down the hands of time. It catches up with all of us.

A scary thought, but perhaps a necessary one. Jordon is vulnerable in this interview. He talks from the heart. A rare look into the soul of a man most of us pretended to know, but didn’t know at all. That’s what happens to us when we’re scared. We get real. We dig deep. We need. We become transparent.

What’s all Jordon’s nostalgia about? Slowing down. Reflecting on a life lived. Wondering. Finding peace. Letting go. Not being the best anymore.

Think about how hard that must be. You were the greatest basketball player in the world---- and now the games over. Your time is finished. You love the game, it’s in your soul, but your body doesn’t love it anymore. It can’t keep up. It’s someone else’s turn now.

Whether you’re a movie star, a sports icon, a supermodel, or anyone else who has ever loved a game, a ball, a set, a runway, or any career and watched it fade, well, let’s just say the backside of glory can suck the life from your soul.

For Jordon, it was more than just a game. More than the fame, the money, reputation, and all the trappings of success that went along with it. In the end, it’s really about passion. When you love something, when you’re driven to it, it becomes your refuge. You breathe it in like you do air. You need it to survive. It completes you. Without it you feel lost.

So what does someone like Michael Jordon do when the music fades and everyone has stepped away? He does what all the rest of us do --- he tries to make peace with his own soul. How? By finding something bigger than himself to depend on.

Age softens us. It makes us ponder. It makes the rebel warrior inside of us smaller. How does Jordon go on? He finds a big God. A different passion. A new set of rules to live by. Is it possible? Absolutely. But only through acceptance and surrender. We must accept what we can’t change and we must surrender the old way for the new.

Life isn’t over for Michael Jordon, or anyone else who is facing mid-life or old age. As long as there is breath there is a life. You are positioned exactly where God wants you to be. Consider this by Andy Andrews, author of “The Noticer”

“What is the fundamental thing we know about people who can breathe?” “That they are alive?” “Correct!” Jones exulted. “That they are alive? Therefore, what might we ascertain from the fact that you can breathe?” “That I am alive?” Willow said, a bit more certain this time of her answer. “That is correct,” Jones said. “And with that realization, we have the beginning of a chain of simple, unvarnished truths about your existence on this earth. Your very breath provides authentic and infallible absolutes that cannot be disputed. Here, my friend, even during what you may consider the worst time your life, is proof of hope. Incidentally, this proof is genuine regardless of a person’s age, physical condition, financial situation, color, gender, emotional state, or belief. Now, listen closely . . If you are breathing, you are still alive. If you are alive, then you are still physically, on this planet. If you are still here, then you have not completed what you what you were put on earth to do. If you have not completed what you were put on earth to do that means your very purpose had not yet been fulfilled. If your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled, then the most important part of your life has not been lived.”

Beloved, life is hard. The losses we incur in this life will assault our hearts, but if we can remember that we were designed for a bigger picture, a greater story, something far grander than even being the greatest ball player that lived---- and in a moment--- was gone, we’ll find joy in the living, not just the remembering.

What is eternal will never perish, spoil or fade. May that give us the courage we need to press on---- because the story isn’t finished yet!

Author's Bio: 

Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider This. Her show airs on several radio stations as well as the Internet. They can be downloaded from www.ritaschulte.com/category/podcast or heard on Women’s Radio Network, as well as iTunes at Heartline Podcast. Rita writes for numerous publications and blogs. Her articles have appeared in Counseling Today Magazine, Thriving Family, and Christianity Today, Kyria. Her book Shattered: Moving Beyond Broken Dreams releases in September 2013 by Leafwood Publishers. Follow her at www.ritaschulte.com, on FB http://www.facebook.com/RitaASchulte and twitter @heartlinepod.