Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)
TITLE: Just Not Fair
By Donna Powers
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
No problem, Ernie. What can I do for you?
Well, Pastor, I don’t want to sound like a cliché, but I’m having trouble adjusting to my retirement.
What seems to be the problem?
I just don’t know what to do with myself all day. It’s been three months now and I still find myself waking up at 5 am and wondering what’s going on at the store.
Well, Ernie, you did work there for forty years.
Yes – and I expected some kind of adjustment period. But I still feel so restless. For every day of those forty years I got up, drove to the store and worked hard. I was in charge of that whole place. For forty years, I knew who I was supposed to be. Now? The highlight of my day is reading what Marmaduke says in the funnies.
Well, isn’t there anything you could do around the house? Yard work, making repairs … help with the housework?
I wish. We live in one of those condos where the landlord does the yard work and repairs. As for the housework, Leola says I’m driving her batty; getting in her way.
Oh, I see. Well, what about Carol and Matt and those wonderful grandkids of yours?
I’d love to see them, Pastor, but they’ve moved to Connecticut and Leola’s not up to the trip right now.
Well, Ernie … I can see why you feel restless and upset.
Pastor, it’s just that … for forty years I did something useful. I was the store manager. I was the head of my team. I felt as though God’s purpose for my life was in that store: keeping the inventory up to date, leading the sales team, stocking the shelves and making sure our customers got what they needed. What’s God’s purpose for me, now? To stack the recyclables neatly, do the crossword puzzle and drive my wife crazy? I surely hope not.
I see what you’re saying.
It’s just that… I don’t get it. Just because I’m a certain age, the company judges me incapable of my job. They look at my grey hair and say, “hit the road, Ernie.” I’m the same guy, with the same brain and the same personality inside. But they don’t see that. All they see is my age. Age is just a number; but for them; it’s all that counts. How fair is that?
It’s not, Ernie.
No, Pastor, it’s just not fair. But what can I do?
Well, Ernie… I think I’ve got the answer for you.
What is it, Pastor?
It’s our Youth Center: we need workers and coaches.
You’re kidding, Pastor. You mean that place where all those scruffy teenagers hang out and ride their skateboards?
Yes, that’s the place. Those kids need coaches and leaders who can teach them a thing or two about business and the real world. You’d be perfect.
You actually want me to help those young ruffians take over the world? Why should I waste my time on them? None of the young kids who worked at the store were understood responsibility; all they wanted was their paychecks so they could buy designer clothes and party. All the young people are like that, these days. And you want me to help those worthless punks?
But, Ernie …. They’re not worthless to God.
Well, sure, I suppose that’s true … but I’ve seen the way those bums look. They wear dirty, ripped pants that hang halfway down their hips and they have more holes in their faces than a pegboard. They drink and they smoke – and I don’t mean just Camels. They swear and they steal; not a one of them respects themselves.
But, don’t you think that’s the very reason we need to reach out to them, with God’s love?
You’re saying I should help them? It’s kids like those who are responsible for tossing me out of my job. I can’t see myself helping them. I need to find a purpose to my life again; not a hopeless cause.
Well… I guess if that’s how you see it.
That’s how I see it.
OK, Ernie. Let’s pray together. I’m sure God has your solution.
I sure hope so. After all, I just want someone to look beyond my age and appearance and give me a chance.
I understand, Ernie. After all, anyone would want that.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.