Sunday, November 28, 2021

When is Half?

As happens every year, I recently had a birthday. I have now left my third decade of life and am starting the fourth. When some men, or women, turn 40, they go through a mid-life crisis and often purchase expensive cars or other items. However, how do we really know when we are halfway through life? Who on earth gets to decide?

A quick search said the the global average lifespan for men is 70 and American men live slightly longer to 77. Therefore, looking at statistics, the mid-point for men would be around 35-38. Judging by those numbers, I'm already past the halfway point. Family genetics also plays a part in longevity and both of my grandfathers lived to their mid 80's. They were also completely independent and active their entire life. A big contribution to an individual's lifespan though is health.

I could very easily say my midpoint in life was around the summer I was six-years-old. At that time, I had spent half my life without a spinal cord injury and half with. At the time of my injury, my parents were told my life expectancy would be around age ten. Both of these numbers say my mid-life crisis should have happened in Kindergarten. Current statistics on longevity for spinal cord injuries are harder to find. The last I saw, my injury level would have put me to my early 30's.

Studying statistics and trends can lead to endless speculation and guessing with nothing gained. The One who knows our lifespan, from conception to death, is God. He has told us that this life is like a vapor or a blink of an eye. No matter how many years we are given, it's nothing compared to eternity. That was even true for Methuselah, who lived 969 years.

No matter how many more birthdays I celebrate, I know God has tremendously blessed me and given me a much longer life than others in my situation. I try to spend the time I'm given to serve God however I can and always be aware how quickly time progresses. It's something best learned at an early age and remembered every day.


  1. Happy belated birthday!
    May I know when is it exactly? If not I respect, either way I hope you had a great day 🙂

  2. God bless you Joel. You are an amazing man and only God knows our life expectancy. You just show that God is in control, not statistics. Love you Joel. Hope you had a great birthday!!

  3. I appreciate your thoughts on life, etc. but… your birthday meal looks delicious! :-) What is it, and do I have to go all the way to Iowa to try it myself?

    1. Guys think of food. :) It's steak & shrimp with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans, I get it once a year. This is at my local Applebee's and should be the same anywhere I would think.