In his captivating book, Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper speaks about retirement by re-telling two stories:
Story 1: “In April 2000, Ruby Eliason and Laura Edwards were killed in Cameroon, West Africa. Ruby was over eighty. Single all her life, she poured it out for one great thing: to make Jesus Christ known among the unreached, the poor, and the sick. Laura was a widow, a medical doctor, pushing eighty years old, and serving at Ruby’s side in Cameroon. The brakes failed, the car went over a cliff, and they were both killed instantly.” 1
Story 2: “[Now] Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who ‘took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.’” 2
The question is then posed, “Which story is more tragic?” Was it a tragedy that Ruby and Laura were killed at age 80 in a car accident? Or was it a tragedy that this other couple spent their lives boating, playing softball, and collecting shells? From the biblical perspective, the second story is tragic and the first story is glorious. Mark 8:35 is indicative of this, “… whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (ESV)
In our popular cultural mind-set, retirement is seen as a time to ‘stop working.’ The Bible is counter-cultural. We are to pour out our whole lives in service to our King. Like the Apostle Paul, we are to have the attitude he expressed in Philippians 1:21-22, “For to me to live is Christ… If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me.” (ESV, emphasis added). Therefore, we at 3D-Outreach love what the RefirementNetwork is doing, and we want to help in any way we can.
3D-Outreachis a missions organisation that exists to be a support and resource to long term missions. We are passionate about missions and making missions happen. One of our key focus areas at 3D-Outreach is the mobilisation of resources. One of the things we exist to do is to connect missionaries who need skills and ‘stuff’ with people who have skills and ‘stuff.’ That’s where you come in! The big question you may be asking yourself is, “How can I magnify God’s glory in the way I spend my time and use my talents?” We want to help you answer that question. What that comes down to is a good chat where you share about yourself and what you have to offer. Then we see whether we can connect you with a need in such a way that you can pour yourself out in service of the King of kings.
So, please be in touch with us (Tel: 011 425 4129), and let us know what skills, abilities or resources you have, so that we can be in touch with you when that need is called for. Ultimately, you too can be involved in missions!
Please visit our web page to find out more: http://www.3d-outreach.com/
John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life, page 45.