Christian Philosophy Lite: Find productivity in retirement years
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Speaking for myself, I find that in retirement there are many opportunities. Some, who experience failing health, declining sight, hearing and mobility, may not agree, but with a proper attitude and special facilities, even these limitations can be worked around.
One great benefit of advanced age is the wisdom one has gained in those maturing years although sometimes through mistakes and poor judgment. In raising my children, I thought I had all the answers, but if I had it all to do over, I would make several important changes. Hindsight certainly is better than foresight.
In the later years, the certainty of God grows daily. I have met several people who, because of failing health, were ready to depart this Earth. They had no fear of death - they welcomed it as a friend. Another benefit is looking back and appreciating the interesting life experiences one has had. Few people could have imagined the interesting experiences life would give them.
The retirement years can be very productive. You may travel, write your life story or build a gazebo. You may enjoy reading books on biography, history, archaeology, culture, politics, etc. You may take on a hobby like photography, woodcarving, collecting gemstones or raising orchids. Take a night course at the college or a correspondence course. Sitting in front of a TV is not productive.
Retirement is a great time to connect with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There is more time to deepen personal friendships through meals, games and travel.
Don't overlook the opportunities available to serve the community. There are needs at Christ's Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, hospitals and nursing homes, for example. Get on the board of a local non-profit organization. For a complete listing of local non-profits, churches, hospitals, etc., go by the Chamber of Commerce.
The older years afford more time to reflect on spiritual matters and the world about us. I particularly enjoy topical Bible studies, such as many of these articles contain. Teach a Sunday school class. Start a mission church, or offer studies at an apartment complex. Mentor a student or a shut in. Join a group doing short-term mission work in some foreign country. You may even qualify as a lay minister for some small church or mission. Polish your speaking abilities through a Toastmaster club.
Your money can work for you in your retirement years. Support religious and political organizations as well as your church. And finally, share your wisdom with the younger generation. You may save them some hard knocks and potential grief.
Raymond F. Smith is president of Strong Families of Victoria.