Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem...
Thoughts for Today:When I was growing up my father had one gigantic, all encompassing goal in life and that was to retire. That's kind of an oxymoron: life goal = retirement, but it didn't seem strange to my dad.
My father spent 35 years as a highly successful executive working for one of the large oil companies, and hating a very large part of that time. He commuted from our home in Huntington Beach to Los Angeles every day. He spent three hours of each work day on the freeway. When I grew up and had a family of my own I asked my dad -- why? Why work at a job you hate? Why commute to L.A. (move closer or find work near home)? Why not start your own business and make some real money (my father was very intelligent, disciplined and hard-working)? His answer, "I did it for the family." You see my father did not want to do anything that would put the family at risk, whether it involved finances, where we lived, schools we attended, etc. I knew my father sacrificed a lot as we grew up, what I didn't know was how much of himself he gave up to give us what he considered to be a better life than he had. My father retired when he was 58, and died at 82 in a car accident. He spent 24 years in retirement -- with a nice pension, health care, and savings account. My parents traveled, played golf frequently, and for the most part enjoyed their later years in life. Does that sound pretty good to you? It does to me too, except that's not where I want my productivity to end -- when I no longer need to work for a paycheck.
In our passage today we are introduced to the new Roman Governor, Festus. When Festus took over for Felix he was around seventy years old! History tells us he would rule for two years before dying in office. My wife tells me that is the way it's probably going to be for me as well -- I'm going to die while working at something I enjoy doing (she can't ever imagine me in "retirement"). I may not grind away in business forever, but I believe God has more than one purpose for my time, talent, and energy. And more than one career.
Questions to Ponder:What is your goal in life? Is it to stop working? To retire? Did you know that retirement is not a Biblical principle? Deuteronomy 30:9,"Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers..." What is the key in order to continue to be productive and prosperous? It is in verse 8 of this same passage, "You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands..." My earthly father may have retired by the world's standard, but retirement is not an option in God's economy. If you have already retired, what is your new career? Have you made yourself available for Kingdom work? For those of us still working, we should not make the mistake of thinking we are too busy to work for God's purposes until after we retire. Prayerfully ask God for direction in this area. How might you serve Him now?