A Not so Cool Acronym

 

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Something I have noticed in our Anglican Culture is how we often we use Acronyms. We seem to have acronyms for everthing! Sydney Missionary & Bible College is SMBC (which some think stands for Sydney Matrimonial & Bridal College), Moore Theological College (MTC), Ministry Training Scheme (MTS), and there is the strange one, Katoomba Youth Convention (KYCK – though for the life of me I have no idea what the ‘K’ stands for).

But there is There is a new acronym that has gained popularity in recent years, particularly amongst baby –boomers and it is an acronym that is increasingly becoming disliked amongst Gen X ers and Gen Y and that is the acronym which is a also a verb for sliding down a snow covered slope and it is the acronym SKI. And it stands for:

Spend

Kids

Inheritance

So when a retired couple say “we are going skiing”, they may not mean that they are going down to the snow, but rather, they are going to blow their money on a mobile home and travel around Australia, then go on a cruise in the Pacific, then followed by a trip to South America led by the famous Alpaca Whisperer Bruce Maclean to learn his techniques and then finish up with a week of fine wine and dining at Doyles on Watson’s Bay in Sydney.

As a Gen Xer it is easy to think about retirement and cultural stereotypes and present a picture of retirement which is ridiculous as it is inaccurate, just like the one I have given above, but something that is not inaccurate is how easy it is to let our culture dictate how we as God’s people should use our retirement and at the same time be blind to God’s Word on the issue.

So what does Godly retirement look like? Does God want me to use my retirement to rest, and spend and play? Is God really concerned about my retirement?

As helpful and as appropriate as these questions are, the first thing I think is important to acknowledge is that retirement as we know it not mentioned in the NT. Historically the majority of people worked until either they could not work due to illness of injury or until they died. Secondly it is also important not to deduce from this that Biblical silence on this issue equals Divine apathy.

The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord, and because he is Lord, this means his rule permeates and is to govern not only all aspects of life but also all aspects of life in every stage of life.

Secondly, retirement as we know it means we that we retire from paid work, but we do not retire from the work of the Lord.

Thirdly, retirement is a blessing from the Lord. Why? Because it offers time for ministry where previously perhaps your paid work took up the time. Have a look at these counter cultural Scripture from the Lord Jesus Christ:

Matthew 6: 19-21

                  [19] “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, [20] but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It is very easy for us in this world to clutter up our lives with material things, and to starve our place in Heaven because we had not invested in things of eternal worth because we get so caught up with career, yet retirement grants us the opportunity to work in a different way, to work for eternal treasure. There are many ways in which the Christian can use their retirement for work of the Lord, prayer, Bible studies, (hosting or leading), perhaps doing an online Bible course (through Ridley College or Moore College), encouraging the young adults in your parish, opening up your home for hospitality, being part of the service where those saints who are in the thick of work and kids, whom you can befriend, love and support; or even finally being able to make yourself more available to be on the roster at church for the plethora of ways in which one can serve.

There was once a very selfish and wealthy old lady who died and reached Heaven and was told that she would taken to the house that had been prepared for her. She passed many beautiful mansions and saw in them people whom in this world she had known and despised. Finally way on the outskirts of the suburbs of Heaven, she was shown a very small and undistinguished house and she was told that it was hers. She complained and protested but was told quietly ‘ That is all we could do for you with the materials you sent ahead’.

There is an old hymn entitled Consider Christ, I suspect most of you know it, but have you considered your retirement? Have you considered how you can use it for Christ? When one yields their retirement to the Lord Jesus, what a wonderful blessing awaits!

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