I’ll never forget reading my first John Piper book in college, Don’t Waste Your Life. It was written with college students in mind but one particular story stuck out to me that had more to do with the other end of our seasons of life, retirement. Read below to know what I’m talking about:
I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.” At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life. (John Piper)
The above account really struck a chord with me because I’ve noticed how many people really do think that retirement or their last leg of life is an extended sabbath or prolonged vacation. Not to say that one can’t take advantage of that season of life, but no one in the Bible wasted their retirement and Joshua is one who took full advantage of his old age by reminding God’s people who God is and how to continue to live for Him. Some of the greatest servants in the church & disciplers are people who have the experience, wisdom and time to invest in the future generations of Christ. So current retirees and future retirees at CPC, spoil your grandchildren, travel to those vacation spots you’ve always wanted to visit, sleep in every so often—but don’t waste this season where God can use you and your wisdom/experience more than any other time in the church. Remind the future generations what Joshua reminded them:
- God keeps His promises.
- Do not mix your faith with the worship of false idols. It never ends well.
- God will protect you in your fight.
- Keep your covenants with Him.
By: Erik Koliser