You’ve reached that milestone called retirement. Once a far-off future event, but no more. No longer are you a slave to the time clock or paycheck. For many of us retirement means we can choose what to do, when to do it, and how.
What are your plans for replacing that full-time job? What will you do with your education, skills and experience? Retirement doesn’t mean you are ‘over the hill’ or irrelevant. It means you can find something you’re passionate about, jump in and make a difference.
How about volunteering somewhere? Volunteering is not only good for others, it’s good for you! But you respond with “I’m retired.” Okay, grab your favorite Bible and head to the concordance. Check out that word ‘retirement.’ You can’t find it? Check another version, and another, maybe one more. Still having trouble? If it’s any consolation, I couldn’t find it either. But let me help. Try the word ‘serve’ or ‘servant’ instead. Hmmmm, that was easy. There are many contexts in which the word serve or servant are used in the Bible, but one truth flows through each of them. It is the concept of ‘doing’ for the benefit of another. This is clear in Matthew 20:28, “… even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Is there a message for you here? Still not convinced? Here are a couple more verses to ponder. 1 Corinthians 9:19, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Perhaps you find yourself in the same place I did a couple years ago. I had retired and had more discretionary time. What would I do with it? Even prior to retirement I thought about that question. One option was to serve the Lord and make a difference in the lives of others, not only in the present but for eternity.
For me, there was a special attraction to this option. Why? I considered all that I had received; I was a recipient of many blessings. Many had prayed for me, spoke into my life and given to bless my family and me. Was this my opportunity to “serve one another?” I concluded it was, and it may be yours as well.
Surveys and statistical evidence abound that show the many benefits of volunteering or serving others at this stage of life. Here are just a few:
- It actually helps make the transition into retirement easier.
- It’s rejuvenating and provides an opportunity for you to do something you always wanted to do.
- It’s fulfilling and provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
- It’s a great way to make social connections and restore that social interaction that you enjoyed in the workplace.
- It’s good for mental health and often promotes physical activity at the same time.
If you have read this far, let me get personal and challenge you. The well-known author and psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud said, “The space where someone’s need and your gifts meet is the space for service, an opportunity, and perhaps a calling.” At Valley View we have many opportunities for you to partner with us and make a difference. Your involvement will not only impact the church but the entire community. In fact, it may impact you the most as you experience the joy of partnering together. It may even be your calling. Here are four next steps:
- Determine the commitment you are willing to make.
- Find an activity you’re passionate about. Volunteer to help with children and youth. Help with the food pantry. Like to work with your hands? We have opportunities for you to help with church maintenance or assist those in need in our community. Make an impact on those who come to Valley View by being part of our Impressions Ministry. The list goes on.
- Don’t be intimidated by walking into a new activity alone. Bring your spouse or find that neighbor or friend who is alone and bring them with you.
- Finally, contact our Director of Involvement to get started. Email Paul@vv.church or text ‘partner’ to (505) 544-4111.
God is writing His story through you and I as we yield to Him. When you retired His story for your life didn’t end, it just began a new chapter. You get to choose whether that chapter includes being a blessing to others. I pray it does.
Ponder this quote from Mother Teresa, “A life not lived for others is not a life.”