“I’ll do it once I retire,” Linda mimicked in a masculine voice. “This was my uncle’s favorite response whenever he was asked to do anything outside of work,” Linda said with a sorrowful look on her face. “He put off family vacations, pursuing hobbies, spending time with friends—all for work,” she continued while pacing back and forth in front of us. “He came from a generation where work was everything. Work was his identity and He worked hard.”
“After 40 plus years of working, he finally started looking forward to his retirement. Two years before the day, he began wearing a button that counted down how many days he had left before retirement,” she recalled with sad eyes and a sigh. Almost everyone in the room leaned forward in anticipation of her next words. “Then it happened,” she said as tears streamed down her face unto her bright green designer silk shirt. “Six months before his retirement, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. One month after he retired from work, he passed away.”
Silence filled the room. No one said a word. The only noise was the sound of the buzzing lights overhead. “He retired from the job and from life, but never had the chance to do any of the things he’d been putting off for years,” Linda said as she slowly went back to her seat. Her uncle’s story hit everyone in the room hard, like a kick to the stomach. We all needed time to recover from the blow.
During this holiday season, remember to STOP! Stop putting off taking care of yourself. Stop putting off spending quality time with your family. Stop putting off answering the call of God. In the Bible, the Lord said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15). God views procrastination as rebellion. To put off doing God’s will is hardening one’s own heart. Before we retire from our jobs or even this life, we want to live life according to God's Word and to its fullness.
- Excerpt from the book, Remember: Chapter 13 - Once I Retire.