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Thoughts on Retirement

Is it a good thing?

I remember a conversation with a man who had been nominated to be an Elder of the church. He had served before, but now he was resisting the invitation to continue — on the basis of his age! He argued that he was retired, and he had made his contribution in his younger years. Since he was receiving a monthly government retirement check, he believed his work as a church leader was also over.

It has not been declared, but it should be, that there is no such thing as retirement in our world of Christian service. The ex-Elder was a perfect example of one who was probably outstanding in what he had to offer, but he was leaning on retirement age nonsense, as if that should be considered.

When Social Security was first established, they had to declare an age at which the benefits would begin. Somehow, they settled on age 65. At that age you could retire, and the U.S. Government would supplement your income with a monthly check from then on. It was a world-changing decision. Suddenly there was a set age that declared your agedness — your end of youthfulness. Age 65, a number somewhat arbitrarily picked, now marked the official beginning of being a Senior Citizen.

But . . . people, such as the Elder cited above, must win control over the tendency to have age 65 be a quitting point. There is no stopping date, or retirement time, in our call to be actively improving our world and responding helpfully to those in need. Age 65 means nothing as far as Christian living is concerned. If anything, it should mean gearing up to be more personally active in loving-kindness, and other helpful spiritual activities.

Maybe it would be good for us to do an evaluation of our own expectations. If you are considered to be 'retired' now, have you quit on stuff you should still be doing. Do you have things to offer that you have stopped doing, just because??

I have some more thoughts to share on this topic. Stay tuned for the next issue of my blog.


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