“I see retirement as just another of these reinventions, another chance to do new things and be a new version of myself.” ~ Walt Mossberg
Yesterday evening, we gathered at the Carmelite Monastery for our end-of-the-year retirement dinner. Each year, we generally lose a couple of teachers or staff members to retirement and this year is no different. We are saying goodbye to our principal as well as to some long-standing teachers and staff.
Saying goodbye in these situations is always difficult because there are so many emotions going through all of us. Some are sad because they are losing someone with whom they have worked for a long time. Some might panic as they worry about who they might get to replace those leaving. Still others might be a tad jealous — or more than a tad — because they still have more years to put in before their own retirement. Still others begin to get sad thinking about the fact that they will be saying goodbye in the next year or two for their own retirement.
Sometimes, people view retirement as “the end”. That is not so. Retirement is the beginning of another phase of our lives. It gives us time to do some of the things we put off when we were too busy with work. It gives us time to visit places we have always dreamed about seeing and renewing friendships that may have been neglected. In short, it is opportunity.
God always gives us opportunities. In life, we move through many stages: infancy, childhood, teens, young adult, adult, senior, and retirement. Each stage gives new opportunities, new joys, new challenges, new struggles, and new accomplishments. All of these phases in life prepare us for “the biggie”: the day that we jump from this life to life eternal.
God knows what He is doing. He prepares us in stages by showing us that there is always something new to enjoy. One day, we will be able to look back at all our joys and all our accomplishments even as we relish eternal joy with God. Until that day, continue to look forward to the opportunities of the day.
FAITH ACTION: Kindly pray for those who are preparing to enter that new venture in life called “retirement”, that they may do so with joy and hope.