At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’ “They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’ “He told them to go to work in his vineyard. Matthew 20:5-7, The Message
The spiritual age of retirement is not the same as the secular age of retirement. Retirement from God’s work comes after death, not in this life. Followers of Jesus are not idle, caught up in their own issues, rather they look for ways to work for the Lord. Maybe they greet people with a smile at church, sing in the choir, serve on the board, teach preschoolers or manage the ministry’s finances. Freedom from the shackles of secular work is to serve others, not to pamper self.
Culture claims that those over age 65 live for themselves in travel, ease and pleasure. It's all about indulging the flesh and starving the spirit, or maybe tipping a charity or two. But our Lord Jesus calls us to remain engaged in His eternal agenda: evangelism, discipleship, mentoring and giving our time, talents and treasures. The gospel of Jesus Christ allows an old soul to remain young at heart. You truly learn to live when you lean into the Lord in your golden years!
They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock. Psalm 92:14-15
Are you in the empty nest season with an available schedule? Perhaps you host young couples in your home for a meal and Bible study. Are you doing life with those you can invest in and with those who can invest in you? If your soul idles long enough in isolation it will dry up and die. However, as you engage your energy in others, you will come alive to live another day. Perhaps you foster children, adopt, or invite your parents, who selflessly cared for you, to live with you..
Lastly, keep the vineyard of your heart and mind free from the kudzu of lazy living and empty thinking. Aggressively pray for your children and grandchildren to fall deeper in love with Jesus and with each other. Daily move your body outside into the Lord’s creation. Push through deadly inertia with a lively walk. Fresh air clears your mind and lifts your gaze upward to God. Let the warm caresses of the sun facilitate onto your face the warm caresses of your Father’s son. Work for the Lord until the day comes when you go to be with the Lord. He rewards work for Him!
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:3
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my work for You not cease and may it be pleasing to You.
Related Readings: Proverbs 11:30; Ecclesiastes 7:10; Romans 9:12; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Titus 2:2
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© 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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