Lifestyle

No Sympathy For The Easy Lifestyle of Retirees

Ed, my neighbor next door, has a fair-sized chunk of resentment towards retirees in general. I assume this will change, when he becomes one himself. This will happen several years down the road. Ed is like, the youngest child watching older siblings going to school, who thinks the older ones seem to have all the fun. Many children, who have been eagerly waiting to go to school, find it less fun than they imagined. Our imaginations are a long ways from the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We tend to think in the terms of what we like and how good something will be in the future. We are less willing to consider what might taste like Buckley’s cough medicine down the road.

Our lifestyles change over time. We pass through the years of getting up and ready for school. We endure a lengthy time of school assignments, projects, homework, tests and even the occasional teacher’s dirty looks. Then there is our lifestyle built around getting to and from work, fitting in family, recreation and duties, around our need to make a living. At last there are the years of not holding a job, and growing older on a fixed income, while balancing the challenges of burn out of body and mind. Ed says that retirees have an easy, idle time of it. I hope he is right for as many seniors as possible, but I know that many retirees have more than their share of challenges and responsibilities. These don’t stop even though they are no longer getting up and going to work at a job.

Lifestyle can be defined as someone’s way of living, the things that a person or group of people usually do. At every period of life, from school days to old-folks days, everyone is challenged with living our lifestyle that so easily slips between one of the flesh, and one of the Spirit. Our fleshly nature encourages us to live to win, to get and have as much as possible. It pushes us to be first, so that, our interests are self-centered with no significant concern with God or others. What God calls sinful doesn’t matter to our fleshly nature. In every age of life, there is a battle between following the Spirit of God and our own sinful propensities. I have told Ed that because a person is retired doesn’t mean they are no longer challenged to live for God’s will and glory. Ed has informed me that we need to live for ourselves not God. I disagree with Ed as life is best when lived by faith in the Word of God.

Although Christ has done God’s work of salvation for us, and we are saved by the perfect life and death of Christ, we are still challenged to live as His royal priesthood. We are called to be a holy people offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

It is not easier to offer the spiritual sacrifices of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controlled when you are a retiree. It always is an epic battle to crucify the hate, sadness, anxiousness, impatience, meanness, evil, doubt, aggression and lack of control we naturally feel. Is it glory to oneself or to God?

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Raymond Maher
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