I am currently working my way through the third series of The Crown on Netflix, and last week watched the episode from 1969 which featured the historic moon landings. Without wishing to spoil it for anyone there was an interesting theme that was explored in this episode, namely a midlife crisis that Prince Philip experienced.
It’s not unusual for people at a certain age to question the point of life. They may have fulfilled all their dreams in life and still have an emptiness that cannot be shaken off. Alternatively, they get to an age where they realise they are not going to fulfill their childhood dreams and find that difficult to cope with. Some at this stage might simply shrug their shoulders and just carry on with life. Others though try to seek solutions to this dilemma. They endeavour to find their satisfaction in things e.g. change of job, a new younger partner, new hobbies, trendy haircut, new clothes, buying a motorbike, getting an earring etc. The list is exhaustive and incidentally none of them work!
In The Crown, Prince Philip thought he would find his answer by meeting with the astronauts from Apollo 11. Interestingly before meeting them he had attended a meeting, organised by the Queen’s dean, for clergy who were experiencing a mid-life crisis. However, he was very dismissive of the people at the meeting saying that instead of sitting around talking they should be men of action like the astronauts. Strangely though when he meet the astronauts he was very underwhelmed. They were just normal people.
The episode finishes with him returning to meet with the clergy and opening up about his feelings. He talked about how he needed to rediscover his faith and then expressed how helpful it had been meeting with them.
I thought that this was interesting. As Christians we know that true satisfaction is found in God alone. However, I expect if we were being honest we would have to admit that is not always the first place we go when we need answers to the ups and downs of life. Why do we do this? What makes us not turn to God straightaway?
The Psalmist tells us:
“You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16 NIV)
We need to learn to believe this promise and seek to find our satisfaction in God alone. Whatever stage of life we are at whether: young, midlife or old.