OVERCOMING THE RETIREMENT SYNDROME
by Henry Jaegers
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By Henry Jaegers
“Give me this mountain”
Joshua 14: 12
As I have been studying the lives of three of my favorite Bible characters, Moses, Joshua and Caleb, I noticed that the greatest work that was done in their lives occurred when they were over eighty years old. Someone has pointed out that Moses spent forty years learning the ways of Egypt and forty more years understanding the ways of God.
Joshua and Caleb were both in their forties when they went to spy out the land and in their eighties when their greatest ministries took place.
So where am I going with this message? When we reach the end of our working age and begin to face our future, retirement looks very appealing.” I have worked hard all of my life and now it’s time for me to do what I always wanted to do: Live a life of leisure.” But what they are not telling is,the retirement lifestyle gets old very fast and so do the people who retire. I have read, that two years after retirement, people lose their whole purpose for living and they die an early death. One young person at the age of thirty was looking forward to retirement and asked me “If God didn’t want us to retire, why did He invent retirement?” Of course a little study on the history of retirement would have revealed it wasn’t God at all. It was a man called F.D.R.
If we are Christians, God has a great purpose for our lives (Many do not know exactly what that is). Being a Christian is greater than praying the sinner’s prayer and being assured that I will go to Heaven when I die. The potential for greatness takes place after we receive Christ. God equips every Christian with a spiritual Gift in order for us to be a blessing to others.
Sometimes it takes forty or fifty years to find out what that meaning and purpose is, and when we do, blessing begins to flow. I have been a Christian since 1958 and it was not until six years ago that I discovered what God wanted to do with my life. I cannot possible tell you all that God has been doing in my life and how that blessing overflows to others. These years from 1958 until 2003 have been preparatory years. I look back over the past and can get discouraged if I focus on how much more I could have done.
Caleb’s word, at eighty years old, “Give me this mountain” serves as a challenge, that old age is not the end of life. I am finding it really is the prime of life. The challenge is not “What have I done in the past (this could be depressing) but what does God want to do with me today and tomorrow?” The key to everything is Being Faithful to take advantage of all the opportunities that God gives me to share with others.This business of being a Christian is not “How will it benefit me?” God does not give spiritual gifts for selfish purposes. One man asked “will it help me to make more money?” That’s a good question to ask for people who are facing poverty due to losing their jobs. Sometimes it will, but Spiritual Gifts are not given for that purpose.
In closing this message, life is too short, the need of the world to hear the Good news is great, and Jesus is coming. It is important that we engage ourselves in the work of the kingdom. There are people who need to hear the Good News and we want to encourage you to realize, that we have a great treasure in these earthen vessels that God wants to use to bless others. My workplace is the greatest opportunity to use my Gift. How about yours? Do you see yourself as God’s ambassador to reach the world that He has placed you in?
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Thanks for this encouraging article. I, too, have reached that time of retirement (forced tho' it was). It is truly an adjustment, but I see it as a transition period and do what I can do, forgetting what I can no longer do. Thanks again. GOD BLESS YOU