Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13–15, NIV 1984).
My Musings – This was the text that inspired today’s devotional from Our Daily Bread Ministries. It kind of resonated with me due to some news I received this week. But first, a little background. I turn 65 in a couple months, which is the traditional retirement age in the United States (at least for those who can afford to do so). And so it goes, that many of my friends, family and acquaintances have been asking me when I plan on retiring. I have been blessed with a career that I still enjoy. Since I have not yet determined what I would do with my time when I do retire, my response has been, “I plan on working until I am 70 (mandatory retirement age for the position I hold), as long as our health permits (mine and my wife’s).”
On Monday I was told that I have prostate cancer. It was caught early, it is not an aggressive form and the prognosis is very good — so I am blessed indeed. It occurred to me that my standard response to retirement, specifically “as long as our health permits,” while true, is really not the most appropriate qualifier. It should be “if it is the Lord’s will.“
My Advice – None of us know what tomorrow holds. Any plans we make for this life are short-sighted at best. Our primary concern should not be things like how we will spend retirement? Our primary concern should be how will we spend eternity? It’s not about how much we have in our retirement fund. It’s about whether we’ve placed our trust in Jesus Christ. If you have not already done so, you need to make those arrangements now, before the mist of this life vanishes.