Updated: Aug 16
Ahhh…retirement. You’ve been looking forward to this for years. The ultimate time of relaxation has come at last. You have planned and saved and dreamed. Golf, here you come! Now when you go south you can stay as long as you wish. It’s time to relish the fruits of your labours because you’ve earned it! Daily rest and relaxation are finally within your reach. You can sit back and do life your way.
But wait a minute.
While we are certainly deserving of a time in life to celebrate the lessening of restrictions, deadlines and demands in our life, we are by no means done. Our task is not yet complete. This verse strongly implies that we still have an outstanding assignment.
“They will still produce fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green...” Psalm 92:14
There is no time limit here. In fact, it states in old age we will still produce.
So as seniors what is our assignment, our mission? Well, it’s the same as it always was. It doesn’t stop because we retire.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18
Again, no time limit here either. No indication that growth is only for the young. Growing and learning and becoming more and more like Jesus is lifelong. Retirement can be the absolute best time to do this. We can devote ourselves most fully now to spiritual habits such as study, prayer, meditation and more without the pull of former daily commitments, with more freedom and therefore, perhaps with even more joy than ever before in doing so. If you have lost your interest in growing and learning, or if it is waning, you are in trouble.
Take a look at the verse prior to this. “beware… lest you fall from your own steadfastness.” This is a caution to remain true and faithful, to follow through till the end and the end is not retirement.
As babies most of us start our Christian walk in church through baptism, christening or dedication. This is how we begin our life on earth. Later, when we have grown and gained understanding, we willingly offer ourselves to God as Jesus Followers. We make a covenant commitment to Him promising to live a life that honours God. This is when our task begins.
So don’t be in danger of not completing your task. Don’t be deceived thinking retirement is just me time without restraint and commitment.
During my last few years at work, here in my home office I had this poster which constantly reminded me of following through on my commitments and endeavours on behalf of my clients. It talks about the importance of integrity, of honouring my promises. “There is no maybe. No unfulfilled words…” But remaining faithful to my commitment to God is not just about me keeping my word. It’s about love-mine for my Father and His for me. That’s why I must do it, why I want to do it. I remain steadfast because I have a responsibility to everyone in my life, near or far, no matter my age or no matter their age, to show them Jesus. This is about them seeing His love.
“One generation shall praise they works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4
Is my life bearing witness to the other generations around me of God’s unending faithfulness and his grace? Am I lovingly and cheerfully still serving and connecting with others as I age? My task is clear.
“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not until I have shewed thy strength to this generation and thy power to everyone that is to come.” Psalm 71:18
Relationships don’t cease because you have matured. You don’t stop being a parent, a sibling or a friend simply because you are older. Similarly your continued relationship with Jesus should now be growing richer, deeper, more alluring, more profound, more beautiful. Neither should you see retirement as an end because retirement is simply a shift to full time employment in the Kingdom…and the remuneration is out of this world!
I once heard of a lady, a beloved and faithful ol’ saint, who slowly became so infirm she could no longer attend church and serve there as she had for years and years. Eventually she became bed-ridden. However, she called the church every morning to ask for whom she could pray. Her task was still not yet completed!
As a child my life began with Jesus. My desire is to bookend my life by thoroughly completing my earthly assignment. I want to hear Jesus say to me, “You finished the race. Well done.”