There are lots of perks in retirement. I enjoy the freedom in my schedule, the opportunity to travel, being with family that’s spread out over several states, and just the relaxation time for reading and resting.
But I must admit, I miss some things. Like teaching, directing a choir, playing for church services, and working with college students. It seems like a waste of talent not to be using these gifts to minister to a younger generation. Oh, there are occasional teaching opportunities. But I can’t do anything over an extended length of time due to being a snowbird. But the limited opportunities make me wonder about some things.
Is retirement really God’s best plan? Should I be more aggressive in seeking opportunities to serve? Can I still influence others by hanging out with my grandchildren, by cooking meals for family and friends, by writing music and blogs? Should I be satisfied with these shifts in opportunities? Or is there more I should be doing, even with the limitations of old age?
Jesus, during his lifetime here on earth, never experienced retirement. He was only here for about 33 years. But He did know radical changes in calling and ministry. Just think – He who had been the Creator came to serve the created. He who had been the Honored Son became “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). He who had no limitations in Glory experienced the weakness of a human body. He who spoke the worlds into being had to learn to talk as a toddler. He had to sit under the teaching of well educated, but ignorant men. How could He explain to them the reality of another world? Did anyone realize the “waste of talent” that was in front of their eyes?
Did Jesus ever get frustrated with His limitations? Did He ever wish for more when He worked in a carpenter’s shop? Did He get tired of teaching the masses who would never really understand what He meant? Did His close followers realize His main mission? After His death, resurrection, and ascension, did He miss His friends when He returned to Heaven? That was another radical change in responsibilities, wasn’t it?
If you are retired, are you finding opportunities to serve the Lord by serving others? Even small things are significant in the Kingdom of God. Jesus assured His disciples that feeding the hungry, welcoming the lonely, aiding the sick, even giving a drink to a thirsty one was like doing these things for Him (Matthew 25:35-40). Retired or not, we are never retired from serving our Lord. What can you do in His name today?