by Charles Robey
(Trussville AL, USA)

"Now also when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come' (Psalm 71:18) .

I'm sure you've heard the old cliché, " You can't go home again". This idiom is just one among the many culture statements quoted down through the ages. But what does it mean ? To a wanderer who carries their home with them ? To a runaway child abused by their parents ? To a homeless man, who has no home ? To me, home actually shows a place of comfort and safety. A place where one is loved by all concerned.

So, is the meaning of this old expression physical or is it just a philosophical " pipe dream" ? And how does it parallel to ones retirement. I have always took it to mean that things and you change, and that you can never recapture the feelings you had in the past. It will always seem different. Such is retirement, One's life will never be the same again.

I have been retired now, for how long ? In some ways, it just seems like yesterday, and in some respects, it has been a virtual life time. Yes, in retirement one cannot roll back the years. With each day, comes a complete new ball game of life. And what we do with it, or how we handle it, is all up to us. Do Christians retire from Christian service when they retire from the workplace? I think not. So, how should a Christian view retirement?

"This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

Like many others, I just knew I'd set the world on fire. I would become like so many other great "Shakespearean" orators by sharing my vast life experiences with all my neighbors, at our little monthly "town hall" senior get together. Well, guess what. I failed in the orator's roll, as well as many other projects I tried to take on. I couldn't even win at checkers. Not to mention my "Bingo" failures. One would think, after so many retirement letdowns, giving up would be a relief. However, I just continued moving along.

I just knew the wife would be so happy, if I pondered the many "honey do" projects, which were posted on my work shop wall waiting my retirement. However, to complicate matters even more so, my work shop became filled with the many TV advertised "fool proof" gadgets, that make for an easier "handy man" life style. I never could resist a "free lunch", if you know what I mean. Did I ever get a wrong number, here, including not getting my orders doubled.

Why I even tried those miracle "fountain of youth" pills advertise on prime time television . You know the ones, that will mystically shed pounds, put spring back in your step and greatly improve memory. But, sad to say, I still have to ask the wife what day it is, as I rise to begin my days reign in my own little kingdom.

One of my first projects, after retiring, was to become better educated on the worlds current events. After all, if it was told on national television, it had to be true. So I settled back in my "Frazer Dad" comfortable recliner, you know the one, held together with all that "duck tape", and tuned in. Boy, was I surprised. How did this planet get in such a seeming disarray ? And where have I been the last 50 years ?

Oh well, life is depressing enough, without some expert commentator telling me. So much for the TV news. Now, I just love the TV "home and garden" shows. The one's that tell me how to remodel my home in three days with a budget of a few thousand dollars.

I must admit, I'm not the smartest fish in the pond, but I do have some logic. Life is what you make of it, And that includes our glorious retirement years. So, I think I'll drive down the street and visit my favorite "fast food" joint for breakfast. For you see, with a coupon I can get the "gravy and biscuit " and the senior coffee for less than two dollars.

If I'm lucky, I can join the other seniors in helping to solving the world's problems over my decalf coffee. Or, if I'm energetic enough, I'll just mosey over to the gym and work out on my free senior pass, by joining all the other senior "Mr. American's" .

In conclusion, retirement life, in spite of what you might have heard, is great. And about all those uncontrollable worldly phenomenon's, with which you read, just take life as it comes by rolling with the punches. Since I can't do anything about such happenings, I'll just take Deputy Barney Fife's advise and "nip it in the bud". Those ever present negative thoughts, that is.

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father" (Colossians 3:17) .

Yes, you may not be able to go home again, but as relating to retirement, you can certainly make a home where you are. Wake up, get off your back-side, go out and smell the roses. So then, whenever we have the opportunity, let’s practice doing good to everyone, especially to the family of faith.

" Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up."(Galatians 6:9-10)

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