by Linda Veath
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …. — Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
It was one of those days. My mood continued to deteriorate and before I new it, I found myself pulled into the “quicksand” of a pity party. Ever been there? It didn’t take long until I was counting all the sad things in my life rather than my blessings.
What happened to my retirement dreams? Reading, taking walks, planting flowers, listening to music, studying God’s Word, serving Him. All great things. But, when I sat down to read or listen to music, I felt guilty, thinking I should be DO-ing something.
As I paced through the house with tears trickling down my cheeks, I heard “that voice.”
I gave your retirement to you as a gift and blessing.”
And I realized, as it all sank in, that indeed God had given my retirement to me to use in honoring Him. And if I was to do that, I needed to spend time with Him. Reading His Word, praying, worshiping.
When I’m trying to understand God’s ways, I usually reference my big 1970 version of the American Heritage Dictionary, along with the digital version on my computer. Interestingly, the definition for “retired” in 1970 was “quiet and secluded.” But on my computer that definition was listed as “archaic,” while the first definition was listed as “having left one’s job and ceased to work.”
I spent much of that afternoon chewing on retirement, I know people who are so busy in their retirement they leave me in the dust. I know others who move slowly and spend their time leisurely. God tells us that there’s a time for every season. For those of us in the season of retirement, we must decide what that means for us. While I do need to spend more time helping others, if I feel the urge from God to take a day and think about Him, pray, study the Bible, etc., I should not feel guilty. Rather, I should thank the Lord for giving me such a wonderful present. After all, what better thing is there than to spend one’s retirement days thinking of our Savior Jesus.
…. [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. — Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV