Monday, February 22, 2016
Scratching the Surface
(A Brief and Incomplete Guide to Considering Retirement)
Should you retire?
As you pray, reflect, and consult about it, you may want to factor some things into your decision.
There are no explicit guidelines for retirement in the Bible.
I don’t know why for sure.
However, I can speculate.
Retirement is a recent luxury of wealthy civilizations: work hard, save up, quit/retire, and then, uh, do whatever you’d rather do because you don’t really like what you’re doing or aren’t able to do it anymore.
If a person is doing what God has called her or him to do and remains able regardless of age, she or he is happy doing what God has called her or him to do and retirement is not on the radar.
Really, if you’re doing a good job and like doing it and don’t have anything better to do by God’s providence and gifting, why in the name of anything but heaven would you quit/retire?
Assuming God breathed knowledge and wisdom into Paul, he said, “To each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Succinctly, our work/vocation/call honors God by helping people; or as Jesus emphasized, “As you do it for them, you do it for Me.”
Paul also wrote, “We each have different work to do. We belong to each other; and each needs all of the others.”
It’s axiomatic: the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. God has made us dependent upon Him; and that dependence upon Him is reflected in our interdependence upon each other by His design and gifting.
When It’s Time to Quit/Retire
Admittedly, some people who can’t stand/stomach their jobs can’t quit/retire because they can’t afford to quit/retire.
Bills have to be paid; and lottery tickets or trusting governments to take care of our needs are not good retirement plans.
If you don’t like what you are doing and have saved up enough to cover future costs of living so that you really don’t have to do it and dread showing up to do it and are consistently cranky, contentious, contemptuous, counter-productive, and complaining about what you are doing, then don’t do it anymore! Quit! Retire! You will be happier along with the people who are the targets of your transference.
If you don’t have to do what you’re doing, quit, retire, and sing, “Take this job and shove it! I ain’t workin’ here no more!”
Life is short.
If you don’t like what you’re doing and don’t have to do it to survive, quit/retire!
Life is short.
If you like what you’re doing and can still do it and don’t have anything better in mind, why quit/retire?
Quitting/retiring makes no sense if you don’t have something to do that you’re called to do and want to do for God’s sake.
People who quit/retire with nothing better to do usually end up listless, lifeless, aimless, and miserable; singing with John Cougar, “Oh yeah, life goes on long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.”
That’s why Mark Twain quipped, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
If you know who and what God has called you to be and do and never quit/retire from it, you will be happy, strong, calm, peace-filled/overflowing, and joyful until your last breath.
When I was in 8th grade, a high school senior wrote this in my yearbook: “May you live as long as you want to and want to as long as you live.”
Quit/retire from doing what you don’t want to do if you’ve saved up enough to quit/retire.
If you like what you’re doing and can still do it, then don’t quit/retire for God’s sake.
If you’re still whistling not whining while you work, don’t quit/retire!
Blessings and Love!