“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.” (II Timothy 4:6-8)
You know, our culture is a culture of youth. We are supposed to be well on our way towards accomplishing all the goals in our life – to do the great stuff that we are destined to do – sometime before we reach the ordained retirement age of 65. Then, at 65, off we go into the sunset with whatever the government has left of our Social Security and, at least for some of us, the meager savings we have in our retirement accounts. In my 50’s that has been depressing because I feel that I have accomplished so little.
But I have yet to be poured out. I don’t feel that the time of my departure has come. And, in reality, retirement is not something with which the Bible concerns itself. Maybe our culture is wrong. Maybe the most meaningful years of our lives are still ahead of us – not behind us. Yeah, I know – it is probably too late to think of becoming a professional golfer or winning the Tour de France. But, maybe the great work of our lives is yet to come.
I wonder how Moses felt, when, at 80 years of age, he was herding sheep for his father-in-law. He knew nothing of the great task that God had planned for him. He was chasing sheep when he came across the burning bush, and God gave him a whole new direction for his life. 80 years old – imagine that.
Paul was saving up for retirement; but his retirement was in heaven. As long as he was here on earth, he was going to stay busy. Moses didn’t retire; he led the nation of Israel to the Land of Promise.
Most of us still have a long way to go before we can say we are poured out. We are still trees with a lot of growing to do. How are we doing with our heavenly retirement account? Are we more concerned with sowing for our reward in this life, or are we sowing with Heaven in mind? Our First Love is even now preparing a home for us. It is going to be a great one.
But now is not the time to rest. There is still so much that He has for us to do. When it is time for us to depart, we want to be able to say, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”