“Preparation for old age should begin not later than one's teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.”
The thing about retirement is that it may never come. Your dream of retiring at an old age can be derailed by any number of uncontrollable factors including a debilitating sickness, a lack of funds, or even an early death. The truth is, you may not end up at that rocking chair knitting a scarf and sipping hot cocoa. Now I’m not trying to scare you. I’m simply pointing out a reality about our fallen world. If you don’t believe me, just read the newspaper headlines. And so why wait until you’re old and gray to do some of the things that you really want to do in life? Why not begin doing some of it today?
I’ve come to embrace the truth that life is indeed short and that God can take me at any time (see post here). And that changes how I view my future and my retirement plans. Instead of waiting for retirement, I’ve decided to do some of the things that I really want to do in life now. There are three major things that I want to do with my life:
I want to meet with people on a regular basis to disciple and mentor them.
I want to write to challenge people with some of the things that I myself have been thinking about.
I want to speak to people whether through the preaching of God’s Word or in other avenues.
Do I really have to wait for when I’m old and gray to do these things? The truth is, I don’t have to wait. I can do some of it now. And that’s what I've decided to do. I now meet with a ton of people on a weekly basis for intentional discipleship and mentoring. I started a blog to write down some of my ideas. I continue to preach God’s Word, teach people, and train them.
Whenever people ask me how I'm doing, I often quip, “Retirement feels great!” And that’s because I’m doing the stuff that I really want to do in life. And I’m doing them now. Why wait for retirement—a retirement that may never come—to begin doing some of your lifelong goals? Now, of course, you probably have some constraints depending on your family and work situation. But with a little creativity and planning, you can include some of your goals into your everyday life.
Let me end with a word of caution. Ultimately, the things we should do for the rest of our lives should line up with God’s desires and expectations. If your retirement plan consists of vacationing half the year in Hawaii, you’ve probably missed the boat on what following Jesus really looks like. Your life goals should square up completely with God’s desires and expectations. To read more about this, click here.
So why wait until retirement to do some of the things that you really want to do in life? Begin doing some of it today.
P.S. In case you missed it, click here to see the foundational post on the idea of retirement.