For Retirees, Every Weekend Is A Long Weekend
“You retired people have a long weekend every week,” Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan told me yesterday. He was all geared up for celebrating the July 1st long weekend with his family in Edmonton. When Ed called, he and Ruby were driving to Edmonton. Ruby was driving, and Ed was trying out Ruby’s new smartphone. He was feeling very confident about her new phone, which he plans on borrowing often rather than getting his own.
I told Ed that long weekends come and go, and they are enjoyed best by those that have an extra day off work to relax and enjoy themselves. Retired folks do have every day to relax and enjoy without paying jobs. Ed has the idea that his future retirement will give him endlessly, days of self-indulgence, and joyful freedom.
I have asked Ed, “How long do you think Ruby will put up with you laying on the couch drinking beer and smoking cigars? If you aren’t free to do either now, why will things change in retirement? Because you are no longer working does not mean the crooked can be made straight and what is lacking can be counted. With much free time comes much vexation knowing the limitations of your fixed income.”
As pleasant as a long weekend may seem, few are remembered. The same weather excellent or bad blesses or detracts from everyone’s day. Traffic backups and accidents happen to everyone traveling down the highway. Apart from God, who can find enjoyment with and without his work? Here in the Fraser Valley, the long weekend has many events and festivals for Canada Day with lots of crowds looking for entertainment and pleasure.
In the Bible, Jesus attracted crowds because he could help people by healing the sick both in their body and soul. Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue, came to ask Jesus to heal his little daughter. As Jesus went with Jairus, to help his daughter crowds followed and thronged about Jesus. In the group, was a woman who had suffered a discharge of blood for twelve years. She had suffered much under many physicians, and her condition was not better but worse. She had spent all she had on doctors that could not help her. She was seeking help and healing.
Seeing Jesus, she thought that if she touched his garments, she would be healed. She got close behind Jesus and touched his garments and was healed. Jesus turned around and asked who had touched him for healing. The woman admitted that it was she and told him her story. He told her to go in peace in her thankfulness and joy at being healed. With Jesus, the crooked could be made straight and what was lacking could be counted. With Jesus work and leisure, long weekends, long work weeks, and no work at all can all become times of joy.
Here in Chilliwack, we have a vast, fireworks display to honor Canada Day. It is spectacular but brief. Holiday Mondays when we have them always seem too short and work weeks too long, and many believe retirement will be their freedom. Seek God all your days for work, holidays, pleasure, and freedom are brief like life. With God love and life endure forever.