As I entered the bakery, I noticed an older man seated by the fireplace engrossed in his book. He looked up at me as I entered. The rain was coming down in buckets, so I jokingly said, “It’s wet out there!” He commented with a chuckle, and with that, we begin a conversation.
After retirement in another state, he had moved to this area. What he said next really caught my attention. He said, “I think I retired too early. I have no purpose in life.”
Sadly, the dream of retirement leaves far too many disappointed, disillusioned, and deteriorating.
My heart ached for this man, divorced many years ago, lonely and without purpose.
For me, a man who is halfway to 64 years old, that word “retirement” has been uttered from the lips on many occasions. Having said that, . . .
- Retirement is only mentioned once in the Bible. In Numbers 8:25, we see the Levites retiring at the age of 50.
- Retirement is not suggested in any other passage of Scripture.
- Retirement is not necessarily sinful, but should be reconsidered from a higher purpose.
- Retirement is a 20th/21st century trend.
So, what do I have to look forward to as I move into the late 60’s and 70’s?
I can worship and flourish in old age. (Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15)
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Now, and as we age, our lives should be one of delighting and flourishing in worship to our God. In spite of our many aches and pains and the loss of youthful abilities, our heart can still rejoice and our lips speak in the morning and in the evening of the excellencies of God! As the Psalmist says, For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy (92:4).
Even in old age, in “retirement,” worship of and to our majestic, awesome God should be at the very heart of all we do; our heartbeat until we enter into His presence in Glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)!!!
Seasoned believers have the blessed privilege of declaring to the younger generations that “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!” (92:14). What a testimony!!
What does this look like as we grow older?
- Confess sin and walk in the Spirit as those around you see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, , faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control on display as Christ lives His life out of you (Galatians 5:16-26; 1 John 1:9).
- Give much time to prayer!
- Fix your mind on the invisible, sure things (Colossians 3:1-4).
- Play uplifting worship music in your home! Go ahead and raise your hand in praise to the Lord!! Enjoy Him, rejoice in Him, sing to Him!!
- Exchange complaining for complementing and encouraging!
- Disciple a younger believer by inviting them to your home to read the Word together, to pray, to hear your stories of God’s provision over the years, to be taught how to cook, to teach Sunday School, etc.
- Fellowship with the younger crowd. My dad said many times, “I like have these college guys come every weekend to serve in our church. They keep me young!”
- Don’t be an old “fuddy-dud” saying, “Well, when I was young, we . . . .” Or, “I wish we could go back to the good ol’ days!” Times change. You were probably radical to your parents and grandparents. Give some latitude; show some grace. Flourish instead of finding fault with everything!
The fact that Christ lives in you (Colossians 1:27) as a true born again believer, you will have a flourishing purpose in your life until you meet Him in Heaven!
Flourish and live connected instead of retirement and being disconnected!