For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Someone I know is retiring this month. For us, it’s a grand celebration of 50 years of hard work. It’s finally time to hang up the boots and walk away from it all … or is it? A package was offered, duly scrutinized and finally accepted. It seemed good to those involved so a signature was obtained and freedom was bought. Finally, it is all over!
I think quite a lot of us look forward to the day when we’ll no longer have to punch the old time card… when our days are ours to do as we please and there’s no timetable to follow. We dream of the day we receive our ‘freedom’ from the kind of lifestyle we’ve been ‘forced’ to live over so many years. We look forward to that package that says it’s finally over!
What’s in the package though? Have we done enough to earn what we’re expecting? Would it have been worth all the years of waiting? Will we hear how well we’ve served, or will we find that we have to shift around our plans to accommodate the meagre payout? On the other hand, are we so caught up in waiting on the package that we miss opportunities to add to our worth? Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (St Matthew 6:19-21)
While we’re healthy and strong, we have the ability to do much for the Kingdom of God. Our places of employment can be our very own mission fields. There are so many who rub shoulders with us on a daily basis who are hurting, lost and in need of the Saviour. We have the chance to affect other lives and show them the way to the Cross. What do we do with the time we’ve been given? Are we spending our energy on the things that matter, or are we laying up treasures for moths and rust?
Some of us have been running this race for many years. Others of us have started more recently. We’re all working with the same thing in mind – the day when He’ll come to pay us for what we’ve done. The months and years are adding up. The time may be sooner than we think. What’s in your retirement package?
Father … thank you for health and strength and gainful employment. Thank you for equitable employers and ‘a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay’. We get so tired of working the way we have to work in order to survive. We look forward to the day when we receive our commendations and our package, signalling an end to years of hard work. More than this Lord, we look forward to the day we stand before You to receive the ultimate reward from Your hands. We look forward to hearing “well done, thou good and faithful servant”. Help us to live in such a way that we’ll be pleased with the reward You have for us.
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