After over twenty years of working with the local pregnancy resource center, I retired several years ago. Then I began working half time as a pregnancy counselor with Bethany Christian Services, adding a few more years of service there. But in May I plan to retire for the second time. There are still more books up in my head that I would like to get down on paper and off to publishers so I won’t be idle!
Retirement introduces change, a period of transition. And change requires that we take steps in new directions and walk by faith.
One night I watched a fire in the hearth as it was dying. Gradually the logs were turning to hot coals. As the night ahead promised temperatures in the teens, I went outside to the woodpile and grabbed fresh logs to add to the fire. The frozen logs chilled my fingers as I lay them on the dying embers, but after a few moments, the dying coals warmed up the new wood and sparks snapped into the air. Soon the fire was blazing anew.
Some people would say that the dying logs from the earlier fire had already served their purpose by warming the room and giving light. Overnight, the coals would cool and tomorrow someone would toss them in the ash bucket. Yet the hot coals still had a purpose. Before the logs turned to ashes, the heat of the coals ignited the new logs.
St. Paul had a burning passion for sharing the gospel. As he aged, Paul passed that desire on to a young believer named Timothy. And later, in 2 Tim. 2:1,2, he told Timothy to pass that passion on to other godly men. Those men in faith transmitted the word down through the generations to you and me. Today, some of us are active in God’s kingdom like fresh logs burning brightly. Some of us are older and retiring, but like the hot coals, we still have a purpose to fulfill. We must set the next generation on fire with a passion for God’s truth.
Take time today to thank God for those who first lit your passion for the gospel. And then ask yourself, what am I doing to light fires in others so families in the future will continue to be blessed by a message of hope?