“There are no second acts in American life” F. Scott Fitzgerald.
That was among the stupider things said by a smart person.
(One of the downsides of perfecting the art of writing, is that one can hone quotable sentences from dumb thoughts that otherwise wouldn’t bear repetition.).
Fitzgerald destroyed himself through drink, intensity, an unwise marriage, and overwork, and so did not have one; however, it would be more accurate to say that second acts are difficult but not certainly not impossible.
The Christian life (even more than America as described in Obama’s victory speech) “is a place where all things are possible.”
For a Christian, second acts are a given, and fourth and fifth, and new acts as long as one lives, if one relies on the grace and power of God.
Prayer unleashes this power, and can give us one surprising second act after another.
Peter’s denial, Paul’s persecutions lead the way to splendid second acts
And all our wasted time, wasted years, folly, and sin, the broken fragments of our lives, can still be crafted together into a radiant stained glass window, at any time–in a splendid second act orchestrated by the God of all creativity!!
And so we are still players in God’s Kingdom, as long as we live–because that is the way the King would have it!
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15
Time Magazine ran on article on Second Acts
“In 1953, Airline Pilot Ernest K. Gann, then 42, quit the cockpit for full-time writing (The High and The Mighty, Fate Is the Hunter), now lives a bucolic existence on one of Puget Sound’s San Juan Islands and feels sorry for airline pilots who spend all their working lives at it. Gann is now determined to quit writing and try painting, mainly because he loves the challenge of tackling a new subject that he knows nothing about. “It’s fear that makes us old,” he says. “In a new career, you don’t know what to be afraid of. You’re young again, creative, alive.”
Just how discontented middle-agers should change their lives is obviously a case-by-case problem. But change they should—so say all successful second-acters. They grant that changing does not mean leaving all problems behind; they know that uncertainty and doubt can plague those who make a change. But merely choosing a new, meaningful goal is renewing; planning and taking orderly steps to reach it are highly stimulating experiences. And fear usually vanishes in the process. For a growing number of Americans, the result is the opening of a new door.”