‘Retirement’ … what’s that?

In Biblical times there were no social security plans or retirement savings schemes, the same applies today in many countries of the world. This is why the Bible commands us to have special concern for widows, orphans and the weak and needy. (Ps 82:3-4)

When I ‘retired’ from my last full time paid vocation as a university lecturer in Civil Engineering and Rural Development in Africa and Asia, the thing I missed the most was the social aspect not the technical. I missed the buzz of learning from an African peasant how to motivate and animate a village community. Teaching together in the same room a group of Jewish, Arab, French and English students. Knocking on a stranger’s door in the middle of the Congo and asking for B&B … the hospitality of strangers who became close friends.

The golf course and growing my own veg was not as exciting and certainly not as fulfilling as my paid job! But I kept listening to God, He knew my heart better than I did! Then three interesting and fulfilling mission- centred part- time jobs came along, one of them being with CVM.

We should not drift into ‘retirement’, God has a plan for each one of us, and how we prepare for this phase of our lives is as important as how we prepared for our first job. Each one of us has a unique set of contacts and skills. I have always been a tentmaker missionary, working outside the established church, so my present calling has followed on from my activities as a civil engineer quite naturally.

May I give you a practical suggestion? Start a prayer triplet, or connect 3 with a couple of guys you trust and ask God to open up ways of discipling for all of you. Remember we are all commanded to make disciples and God will build his church. He has a plan for you, even if you haven’t yet!

But let’s always remember Psalm 82