Around this world in many places there is a word that infers completeness, receiving the just rewards of our efforts, of no longer working, but not seen as lazy. The word is retirement, and it is given to those who no longer are employed, most generally by their own choice, but not always of course. In our mind’s eye we see an older gentleman or silver haired grandmotherly type, well-worn body, hands no longer as strong as they once were, time has taken its toll on them, and it is time to retire. In many places this infers an individual who has struggled long and hard for many years, saving as much as they could, perhaps even investing some of their hard-earned money in hopes of seeing this day. In some cases, even when the financial wherewithal is there, the physical ability to enjoy it is no longer present, and so retirement brings with it not only the inability to fully enjoy its benefits, but many things that sad to say most are not truly prepared for.
The alarm clock that once warned them of the approaching day and its needs now remains silent, the endless hours of the pursuit of the goals that humanity places on all of us is now replaced with the continuing search for ways to fill the day. One of the most terrible parts for many of these retirees though is the knowledge that they are no longer needed by society for its continuance. Their replacements have been trained, the attire they wore to serve the world is now used for puttering around in the garden or worn only on special occasions. All their time is now their own, and in time many become despondent because of all that extra time. They search to find a new master to serve, for the one that they dedicated their lives to for so many decades now finds them irrelevant, a relic of the past.
When one accepts the world as his master, he will find one day that his master has found him disposable. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. 16:31) Those who serve Christ as Lord know this as a fact, that there is no such thing as retirement, the closest word in the vocabulary of the born-again believer for this word is death, the leaving of this mortal temple to finally put on immortality. (1 Cor. 15:53) Our physical age makes little difference to the Lord, Moses was well over a hundred years old on the day that the Lord God laid his body to rest and, “His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” (Deut. 34:7) Caleb was almost one hundred when he started to take the mountain of Kadesh Barnea where the giants lived.
Those who search the world in their “golden years” for fulfilment will still be searching for it the day they die, and they will never find it in its entirety, only in small, fleeting fragments. The Christian found his greatest prize at the cross, and no amount of age or physical infirmity will cause his desire to know more of His Lord to wane. For those who seek Christ daily, each day is far too short, for those who know the truth of the brevity of life, (Psalm39:4-5) each moment is an opportunity to serve, and seen as one step closer to their eternal home. As odd as it may seem to some of you, a born-again believer looks forward to his retirement with much more enthusiasm than those in the world do theirs. What the lost have scraped and saved for, what they hope to attain before their final breath is of no more value than all they have attained since they first stepped into the work force, it has produced no lasting fruit whatsoever, they have fritted and wasted the decades away on only the temporal, only the perishable.
Our retirement from the labors of the Lord begins exactly one split second after you take your final breath on this earth, the treasures you have laid up in heaven will finally be at your disposal, your rewards will be bestowed upon you, your mansion is being prepared as we speak. (John 14:2) Christians do not stop in their labor of love for Christ, age holds only the restrictions that He has allowed to befall us, the work will continue until we are called home from the field. When they come up to you in that day my friend and ask you if you are retired yet, you can look them in the eye and say with all truthfulness, “No,” and when they ask where you are working at, you can praise God for the opportunity to once again glorify His name, and begin to tell them who you work for. Perhaps they will listen, and desire to serve Him also.