Wednesday 4 September 2013


We are never too old to set new goals or dreams.


What’s so fascinating and attractive about living up to a ripe old age?

Firstly, it would mean more opportunities to serve God. Don’t we find delight in seeing God’s plan for our lives unfold in all its fullness? There is no greater thrill than to claim the fullness of God’s inheritanceto possess the Promised Land that He has meant for us.

 Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) was one of the greatest Scottish preachers. Though he lived only up to the age of 30, he made tremendous impact through his preaching and writings. Imagine the impact he would have made had he lived up to 70it would have been even greater.


Bob Buford, author of Half Time, believes that in the second half of our life, we should be moving from success to significance. Armed with wisdom, experience, skill and training acquired through the years, retirees can contribute much to the home, church and community. Many would have attained financial stability and thus have the financial resources to help others. All these factors plus God’s empowerment enable seniors to lead fulfilling lives with eternal significance.

Living to a ripe old age gives us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We can set out to disprove the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We can learn new skills such as public speaking, writing and blogging and impact many lives.

Secondly, with long life we get to see our grandchildren (or great grandchildren). Don’t we long to hear the pitter patter of little feet? I’m sure we’d want to experience the joy of playing with them and witness them growing up. And, as their mentors, the values and wisdom that we impart to them will certainly stand them in good stead later in life.

Thirdly, longevity enables us to rediscover the meaning of love, inner strength and patience. As we grow old gracefully with our spouses, we learn to support one another spiritually, emotionally and physically. As the children would have been independent by then, we get unparalleled freedom to travel and explore the world around usas long as our health and finances permit. 

Furthermore, we can spend unhurried moments pursuing our hobbies or chilling out with our friends over high tea. “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?” 

The apostle Paul has a positive attitude towards life and death: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:21-24).

Paul’s goal is that Christ be exalted in his life, whether by life or death (Philippians 1:21). And how much he can give to others depends on the number of years he has been allotted on earth.

We should not be fearful of death should our lives be suddenly cut short because we believe in the resurrection. As Jesus proclaimed in John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” Indeed, the Christian who walks closely with God need not fear death: “O death, where is thy sting? (1 Corinthians 15:55).

On the other hand, we should be positive about longevity for it affords ample opportunities to glorify God. If we have been allotted three score and ten years (or more), then we should make full use of it. Carpe diem! The best is yet to come!

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green.
(Psalm 92:12-14)

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
(Proverbs 4:18)




Why are some people happy about their retirement whereas others are not?

Here are seven possible reasons borne out by research:

  • 1.       Engage in a purposeful activity for more than five hours a week.
  • 2.       Retire at your own free will (not retrenched).
  • 3.       Retire financially independent.
  • 4.       Retire at 55 or younger.
  • 5.       Having someone you can rely on for emotional support.
  • 6.       Proactively maintaining your health.
  • 7        Having received pre-retirement advice or having pre-retirement planning.                                                    

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