“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C. S. Lewis
As Al Borland used to say on the first Tim Allen show, Home Improvement, “I don’t think so, Tim.” Usually, when Tim was about to blow something up that shouldn’t blow up.
But I digress. Many times, I’ve met someone who has retired, and they sit like a gnome in the garden, gathering dirt and bugs and mold. They’re not thrilled, but don’t seem to have a clue what to do about it.
That isn’t what God wants for us. Yes, we’ve worked hard all our lives and we’ve earned the reward of being able to sit back and take it easy. For many of us, however, the reward seems fragile because our financial resources don’t allow us to live as we dreamed. But that’s for another blog.
Taking it easy doesn’t have to mean we turn into a vegetable, like a couch potato. We still have so much to give to our family, our church, our community.
We can still set new goals or dream new dreams. For example, I retired from my first job in 1999 and immediately set out for my next dream, working for a Christian ministry. That happened in early 2000 and lasted until 2010. While I was doing this, I was also writing. Writing became my third full-time career in 2010.
But God isn’t through with me. In the early 2010s, he birthed a new dream. He led my wife and me to a new church and the opportunity to serve in the stewardship ministry. The ideal part of this dream is it’s as a volunteer. Which means I’m not dependent on it for a paycheck or a livelihood. I serve because I want to serve.
Recently, I met a man who wanted to know what retirement was like. I told him retirement is whatever you want it to be. You can do nothing, or you can do something. It’s your choice.
Recently, I’ve felt my body changing. It’s not as spry as it used to be. It gets aches and pains it didn’t use to get. My stamina isn’t what it used to be.
Do you get these sensations sometimes?
I said to my wife, “I’m not old enough to be experiencing this junk. Old people feel like this.” Then I looked in the mirror and my reflection said, “You are old. Get used to it and adapt to the new you.” Inside a still small voice said, “I still have things for you to do for the Kingdom. So get over it!”
But that doesn’t mean I have to stop dreaming dreams or setting goals. As long as I have breath in my body, God can use me. He can plant new desires in my heart and provide the means to achieve them.
I can be a writer, a stewardship volunteer, a better husband and father, a friend, a neighbor. I can be what I dream to be, and I can achieve goals because I have my focus on my future and my God.
Take some time this week. Meditate on this quote from C. S. Lewis and ask God, “Lord, what would you have me do?”
Tagged as “one to watch” by Publishers Weekly, award winning author Henry McLaughlin takes his readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they battle inner conflicts while seeking to bring restoration and justice in a dark world. His writing explores these themes of restoration, reconciliation and redemption.
Besides his writing, Henry treasures working with other writers and helping them on their own writing journeys. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, and mentors and coaches.