Shani and I looked at each other but exchanged no words. I held her hand as Dr. Curran came in with a quiet ‘Good morning’—not his usual sunny greeting. He connected the new device and sat close for a listen.
We’re continually struck by the similarities of college graduation and retirement. Of course, it’s right to celebrate past educational and vocational achievements, but it’s incomplete if we don’t ask, “What’s next?”
Let’s do what we can to publicly champion and help shape the new frontiers ahead, for both early and later-life milestones.
One major drawback of circled-wagon age segmentation is a stifling of the Spirit. It can also spill over into racial and socio-economic segregation, where we mainly look out for the interests of others like ourselves.
Retirement was never about unplugging from serving, sharing, and giving ... or going. This was in our DNA; this kind of living wasn’t going away. So we positioned ourselves for being available, useful, even as we made plans for travel in our motorhome.
With a simple heart pivot, God can transform present vocational or situational perspectives so that we can readily attest, “YES! I’m right where God wants me for now, living out His dream for my life.”
We’ve heard some people at his ripe age of ninety declare that they’ve outlived all of their friends. Not Papa Don. He had a constant stream of friends and family—all ages—visiting and calling him in his final days—and showing up at his memorial celebration.
We need the Holy Spirit actively involved in our lives, both individually and corporately. We can’t leave the power cord unplugged. We need the Holy Spirit to help us overcome fear, at all stages of life, perhaps even more in later years as some of our natural strength dissipates. He is our Advocate, Helper, and Comforter.
One challenge we face with Christian adults on the plus side of fifty … is the fact that Jesus went to the cross at age thirty-three. We don’t have accounts of Him traversing the pre-frail, frail, and dependent years.
We do, though, get to observe what He was doing as He approached death: praying, serving, and making/shaping disciples.
Intergenerational may sometimes sound like a buzz word or a passing fad churches may or may not find appealing or relevant. Because the word itself doesn’t appear in Scripture, some see it as a new, experimental, optional concept.
But, digging deeper, it’s clear God intends for all of us to have healthy, intentional relationships extending beyond our peer group, both up and down the age ladder—and both inside and outside our extended families.
Actively serving God in our robust years often carries over into the pre-frail and frail years—adding special meaning, purpose, relationships, and joy. If we refuse to take risks and choose not to serve when our health is good, starting when our strength dissipates is unlikely.
"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4
It's so easy to get caught up in looking out for our own interests. I know it is meant more broadly, but I like to interpret 'others' to mean those who might otherwise be viewed as competitors. It's becomes a great reminder that we're all in this together. A 2:4 One special!
We know longevity in professional sports is different than life, but there comes a time when the sidelines become a better fit than the playing field. While no one shows up for a game just to watch the sidelines, there is a whole lot of meaningful activity going on just beyond those out-of-bounds markers.
We love how God works up and down the generational chain, using our kids and grandkids to challenge us to live lives worthy of respect. This generation to generation thing isn’t only moving from oldest to youngest. God wants to use younger adults, teens, children, even babies—to continue building His character in us.