It's been an interesting Spring Break. We visited my "snowbird" parents in Florida, my son turned 18, and I ate my first waffle at the Waffle House.
But what impressed me most on this trip was being able to observe how retirees live out their days. It got me thinking about how God might want me to spend that stage of my life (Watching my son turn 18 made me realize that that stage of life is not that far away!)
As I observed the retirees--at restaurants, in the parks and at their homes--something became very clear: this stage of life, from around age 65 to 100 and more, can be a monumental time of service to God. In just the retirement community alone in which my parents live there must be approximately 750 couples: Most of them not only quite able to live on their own, but live vibrantly and active. Many zoomed around in golf carts. Others walked in the morning and then again at night. They dined gaily in large groups and entertained visiting children and grandchildren. I marveled at the possibility and potential of all this maturity, vitality and life being put to God's purpose. I mean, think of the collective wisdom of these thousands of people who have years of life experience behind them! Think of the mentoring, teaching, and sharing they could do (and no doubt some already are) to younger people and to those who are struggling! Think, with all the time they have, what they can do and where they can go for God. It boggles my mind.
And so I thought, that's what I hope God has in store for me in my later years: Not a retiring from life and into leisure, although there's nothing wrong with leisure now and then (as long as it doesn't make us too busy for God); Not a pulling back from life, but a continuing in life; Not a retreat...but a leading into more, much more, adventure with God.
Psalm 92:12-15 says "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 'The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.'"
When I grow old I want God to still bear fruit through me. And another visit to the Waffle House might be nice too.