The day had finally come. Jim Humphrey walked out the door of J & B Trading Inc. for the last time. “Retired, I can’t believe it, forty-five years of hard labor on the rock pile, done, over!” He often jokingly used the prison metaphor for his time at work. Now, his sentence was served, he was released!
Jim could not wait to begin his second life. “I’ll go to bed late and get up late, relax on the computer and T.V, then there’s golf, reading, bridge, fishing. Maybe I will try scuba diving and surfing, of course antique hunting and shopping with the wife, and maybe get more involved at Church. If I get desperate, maybe I will try getting closer to God with intense Bible reading, prayer and maybe a fast or two.”
Jim partook of all his activities and more. “I feel like a calf let loose, so free!” He was convinced that this was the life. Sure, he took God along with him during all his fun. He figured they enjoyed these pleasures together. Moreover, as long as he sensed fulfillment in his amusements, he felt no need to deepen or develop a deeper relationship.
After about a year or so of relaxing in his indulgences, the enthusiasm for them waned. He admitted to himself and his wife Donna, that he was bored. “How could this be? I always said some people retire and die from boredom because they have no interest in anything beyond their jobs. However, look, at all, I do and suddenly I am bored. This is worse than working. Yeah at my job I was bored often enough, but you know I had a purpose there, a job to do, responsibility.”
Donna nodded. “Now you are beginning to see.”
Donnas’ steady expression indicated special wisdom for the occasion. Jim rose and gently held her shoulders staring into her eyes for a sign. “You have retired from your job, but not from God’s employ. “I remember when you had a Godly purpose. You were alive, on fire, never bored!”
Jim recalled days gone by. He was a master salesman, a real pro. He could sell you anything without you even knowing you’ve been sold. He was the best! In the “old days”, young and enthusiastic, Jim used his sales mastery as an evangelistic tool. He never let an opportunity to share the gospel slip away. The fruit of his evangelistic gift astounded his church. He filled the pews with multitudes of would be believers and newbie’s who said the sinner’s prayer due to Jim’s persuasive witnessing. Nevertheless, in time Jim lazily rested on his laurels. He could not pinpoint the period or event that punctured his zeal for souls. It did not happen in a day, a week or months; but slowly he retreated to languor.
Grasping Donna’s hands, they prayed, “Lord, please renew my enthusiasm. Revive your spirit in me. Show me your will again!’
God replied with one word… “Rest.”
“Rest, that’s what I’ve been doing resting and relaxing. I want to do something,” he pleaded.
Donna softly interrupted. “Years ago we were both under the impression that it’s what you do for God that counts. Think about this; isn’t it what He’s done for us that counts most? His work was completed at the cross. Remember his dying words, “It is finished. “
“I’m not sure I understand.”
“Relax, rest in his finished work. Wait on the Lord for direction. Forget the past He forgives all. It is now and the future that he is concerned with. He still has great things for us. It’s never too late with Him.”
I don’t know. He has to be peeved at me for years of backsliding. Imagine all the souls that could have been saved if I had kept….
Donna crossed her lips with her forefinger. “Shh, it’s of no value to think like that. Again, He is concerned with today and the future. Relax; God is not angry with us.”
At last, Jim found his ultimate career within his retirement. Now, everyone he met became saved or nearly so to the point of great interest in the Gospel. And whenever anyone asked how he relaxes during retirement, he replies unabashed, “I am not retired, never will be. I relax being a salesman for the Kingdom of God. Now then, what’s the condition of your soul, would you like to accept Jesus…?”
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