This is the last day of the year. It is also my final post in this series on finishing well in retirement. Appropriately, I want to end by focusing on the end of retirement. Every retirement ends with death. Yet, for the Christian, the end of retirement is not just about dying. Most significantly, it includes the hope of glory.
I am just starting my retirement. Last month I spoke with a dear friend who was ending his retirement. Notably, he was so excited about seeing Christ in all his glory. Although he was experiencing significant pain, he was finishing well, with his hope of glory clearly visible. My friend modeled the key to finishing retirement well: facing the reality of death with the hope of glory.
The Reality of Death
North American culture avoids talking about death. In fact, it is considered impolite to mention it at the table. We tend to ignore it and pretend it won’t happen. As the chorus of a Simon and Garfunkel song from 1966 so aptly says,
So, I’ll continue to continue to pretend my life will never end and flowers never bend with the rainfall.Simon and Garfunkel, Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall.
This pretending does not lead to finishing well. In contrast, the psalmist asks God to teach us to number our days so we gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12). Facing the reality of death opens the door for us to cherish the hope of glory. Matthew McCullough writes,