If you’re like me, more of life is in the past than the future. Fortunately it takes longer to arrive at that halfway mark than it did 100 years ago when the average life span was around 50. Today, if you retire at 65, you could have 20 to 30 years ahead of you. The way you approach aging does not have to be a long slow decline, even if your body says otherwise.

Bob Buford’s book Halftime explores the possibilities of a longer life. He inherited a business, which he eventually sold for enough to fund his retirement. But he didn’t know what to do next. He sought the advice of business guru Peter Drucker who surmised, “You’re in halftime, Bob.” You spend the first half of your life trying to survive and succeed. With today’s U.S. average life expectancy of 79 years, you can spend your latter years moving from success to significance. “Halftime” is when you decide the most rewarding way to do that.

Eugene Peterson’s book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction is about persistence in learning to walk with, and toward God. Lamenting that our society has become so enamored with instant gratification, he reflects on Psalms once sung by pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. He sees the Christian life as such a journey. Worship, service, and community add significance to life even as we sense our destination drawing nigh. Longevity is your opportunity to model a persistent, growing faith.

The poet Wadsworth penned verses he called “A Psalm of Life.” His life was marked with suffering and tragedy, but that only clarified to him what really matters. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul. His exhortation becomes more poignant as we age. Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time; Footprints, that perhaps another, sailing o’er life’s solemn main, a forlorn and shipwrecked brother, seeing, shall take heart again.

How can you be significant, live a long obedience in the same direction, and make your life sublime? Jesus simplified and summarized God’s desire for you. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:35-40). However you answer the question, let it include faith, humility, service, and joy.

Here is another encouragement as you contemplate the frailties of aging. God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Your response? “I will boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Cor. 12:9). May God be with you in this season of your life.