Q: We always looked forward to my retirement, and at first we really enjoyed doing everything we always wanted to do. But now I’m absolutely bored, and sometimes I wish I’d never retired. Does the Bible say anything about how to spend your retirement? — W.W.
A: Retirement is a relatively recent development; historically most people had to work as long as they could just to survive. Our modern industrial world changed all that, however, and today most people can look forward to years of retirement.
But you’ve put your finger on a problem that seldom gets discussed: How should we spend our retirement years? Advisers repeatedly tell us how to prepare financially, but what should we do once we retire? Should we waste those years in meaningless, self-centered activity? Should we become overly preoccupied with our health or overwhelmed with worries? Or does God have something better for our retirement years?
The answer is yes; God does have something better for us. See your retirement as a gift from God, not to be wasted but to be used the way he wants it to be used. This is why I urge you to begin with a simple prayer: “God, how do you want me to spend my retirement years? What is your plan for the rest of my life?”
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I don’t know how God will answer that prayer, but he will answer it, Perhaps he’ll give you new ways to enjoy these years or open up new opportunities for work. Most of all, however, I urge you to find ways to serve others through your church or community. God’s promise is always true: “For I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.