In this episode, we learned about the concept of retirement. Not from our typical Western perspective, but rather from a place of understanding that work is not the enemy, that we aren’t just running to the finish line, and that retirement actually isn’t in the Bible!
Erik opened with some sharp words from a missionary conference he went to in Egypt a few years ago, where the leader & speaker lent an iron fist to the need to both work & rest. The speaker shared that in not doing one of those things, you are violating God’s instruction & model for life, meaning you are living in sin and needing to repent of that. Wow. Following that, both those that needed to repent of not resting were invited to do so, as well as those that were guilty of not working.
Through this, and the entire episode, we came to understand that work & rest are meant to be together – they work together! Work & rest are meant to be practiced cyclically, in tension, and keeping a Sabbath rhythm is part of following that necessary cycle.
As Erik has stated before, our rest reminds ourselves and communicates to God that the world can go on without us, that it is not our strength or productivity that keeps everything floating, but it is God – with or without us. That’s a humbling thing to recognize! But it keeps us in line with God’s will for our lives, and His will for the world.
Darren backed that up with, “work hard, rest hard, and don’t feel guilty.”
Finally, in our Missional Moment, we heard from Chuck Rapp, who spent 40+ years in the corporate world before retiring to begin working with One Mission Society. Chuck didn’t look to retire from work entirely, but rather wanted to retire to something, not just from something. This concept is the Biblical model for retirement – we aren’t done when we reach 62! Even in retirement, our Great Command is still to honor God & love people.
Chuck read from Romans 15:1-2 in the Message Translation (MSG) and encouraged us with what had encouraged him as he considered retirement:
“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’”
This passage reminded Chuck that he still was “strong & able”, that he still had strength to give in service, and that he intended fully to do so, even after retiring from his corporate job.
When that time comes for you, what are you planning to retire to?