Thursday, January 17, 2008

Retirement ? What's that?

I love hearing about inspiring people!!
This morning there was a news clip about a man named Anthony Mancinelli who immediately had my respect!!
He is a man who has applied his barbering trade for 83 years.
No, that is not a typo; he is now almost 97 years old and has been clipping hair for 83 years. The news report said that he had cut President Coolidge’s hair – that is going back 14 Presidents !

What I admired about this man is that is has no thought of retiring! He doesn’t want “to sit in front of the TV and get old”.
He is doing what he loves and is still very professional in his trade and often has men lining up to have the privilege of having their hair cut by him. He said he loves the hands on aspect of his trade and personal conversation with the people who come in.
He is the kind of man that makes ‘old’ a myth.

Most of us, for one reason or another dream of and plan for our retirement!
But I think that whatever stage of life we are in, there is always something we can do that is a rewarding and profitable focus to make life meaningful.

And one thing I especially love is that in the kingdom of the King of Kings there is no such thing as retirement.
Our place of service may change, our acts of service may change but until the day we take that last step over the line between this earthly life and our eternal rest, we have opportunity to be gainfully employed doing the work of the kingdom.

Anthony said the secret of the longevity of his working life was that “You have to enjoy it!” And I think that is also the secret of our working in the Lord’s vineyard!!
It is a joy to serve our King !!
And you are never too old or too weak or over or under qualified to be an active member of the Lord’s workforce!!
Always, always there is a job for you to do. Tailor fit for you , your ‘job’ is and always will be one that is enjoyable and satisfying and a necessary part of fulfilling God’s good purposes.

Some years ago we had an interim pastor that was amazing. He was 'Arthur' to everyone and loved by the youngest member of our congregation as well as the very oldest.
He was 86 years young and full of energy. We would gladly have kept him as our pastor but he lived some distance away and came only to fill our pulpit for a few months. He is now well over 90 and last I heard he was chaplain for a rest home.
He was still going strong with no thought of retiring.

I love to hear that people can be useful and busy about the Lord’s business as long as they have breath. That is what I want to do … no matter where or what that business is.
I don’t want to turn into a spiritual couch potato taking an early retirement that was never offered me.

Will we follow in the footsteps of our Lord who said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day , the night is coming when no man can work.” ? (John 9:4)

I remember as a child singing the hymn below and always fascinated by the words.
Do you remember it ?

(written by Anna Coghill in 1864 when she was just 18 years old )

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ’mid springing flowers;
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is done.

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor,
Rest comes sure and soon.
Give every flying minute,
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man works no more.


Judy said...

I like are right on!

Lovella said...

Yes, I remember that hymn well. I haven't heard it in years, maybe that's the problem.

James Janzen said...

It gives a whole new meaning to work when the knees are strong, the back and neck don't hurt, and nothing aches. No need for retirement in heaven.
In the seniors complex there was one very giving soft spoken woman. She used to be a missionary and had a computer which allowed her to keep in touch with the outside world. She received e-mails every day from around the world. She was still an encouragement to many even though she was unable to get out much. I wonder if she is still there or if God has called her home.

Vicki said...

What an inspiration those gentlemen are!

Wow...that's a hymn I haven't heard in maybe 25-30 years!

Anonymous said...

Yes, as Kay Arthur says in one of her video lectures, "It's not over until they close the coffin!". God has plenty of work for us to do, He has gifted each one of us to contribute in some way, and there really is no reason to retire from Kingdom work until He calls us home. Great reminder! Elsie

Carolanne said...

I heard on a Charles Swindoll program this morning that someone asked Mother Theresa what it would take to be able to work in a similar way to her and she said it took 2 things, 1/ Wanting to work and 2/Having a joyful attitude. <-- No age limit on either of those things, I see.