“I haven’t heard of the concept of retirement in the bible” This was a quote from Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity, in an interview with Bob Buford, author of Finishing Well.
I found this compelling. Here is a man who was successful in the traditional business sense as an entrepreneur. He sold everything he had, gave it all to the poor, and went off and founded Habitat for Humanity.
Another quote when initially asked if he had heard of the term “retirement” was,
“Sure I have,” he said with a laugh. “I remember the words of Jesus, who said, ‘Take up your cross until you’re sixty-five, then lay it down, then take up your fishing pole and move to Florida!'”
I find this so unique because I talk to people all of the time trying to figure out what God is calling them to do. Many of us who wonder, and I am surely one, are in their 40’s and 50’s. And then I have to laugh, because once we figure it out, it will be time for us to retire!
I guess it doesn’t have to be.
If we embrace Millard Fuller’s philosophy that there is no such thing as retirement in God’s Kingdom it really takes the pressure off. We can look around each and every day and do what needs to be done. It is not at all difficult in our world to wake up each day and see Kingdom work.
I am all for a calling. I am all for trying to make an impact for God’s Kingdom in a big way.
What I think is a trap that we get sucked into is feeling like we are not doing His work unless it is big, meaningful, and brings tears to people’s eyes when they read about it.
Millard Fuller did go on to say that although he wasn’t interested in retirement He did acknowledge that his contribution may change in his 70’s or 80’s. Fuller died last year at age 74. He actually ran Habitat for Humanity until 2005; so he was 70 years old. At that time, he didn’t retire. As he indicated his contribution changed. He founded the Fuller Center for Housing.
Eternity is Forever So Isn’t Kingdom Work too?
I think what I appreciate so much is his mindset. Eternity is forever. Eternity began when we accepted Jesus as our Savior. Our contribution will continue on from this world to Heaven.
Our challenge is to make a contribution for Jesus. Retirement isn’t a ticking biological clock in His Kingdom. Whether we are 20, 50, or 80 there is an opportunity to make a difference for Jesus today.
Have you ever felt that your time to make a difference was limited? I have even though some of it may have been subconscious. The weird thing is having a time limitation actual paralyzes us and we don’t begin. I want to challenge us all, even if you aren’t sure of an eternal calling, to start today by looking around and seeing what you can do to help God’s Kingdom!