Retirement.

There are at least three retirement homes near my campus, which is a funny contrast to the hoards of young people I see on a day to day basis. We’ve got young, and we’ve got… retired. I always feel bad for speeding past an older person on the sidewalk, but I mean, people, I’ve got places to be. I’m not retired. I can’t afford to walk at a one block per hour pace.

Retirement is an oddly popular subject in college, not the longing for it but wondering whether or not you’ll ever get to that point. Will I ever have enough money saved up from my low-paying, bad-economy job in order to stop working? It’s not likely since social security will run out before my generation gets to claim any.

I digress.

I’m thinking about retirement today because the speaker at church said something interesting today, as he talked about what God’s word should accomplish in our lives, “The word of God doesn’t retire in us but lives in us.”

It made me think of all those retirement homes where – I assume – the inhabitants have little labor to attend to, many Bingo games, and lots of similarly minded people with whom to share the experience. To a 20-year-old who can only sit still for about an hour and a half, that sounds inactive and boring.

You know how when you sit through dry lectures or board meetings or phone conversations that have no spark to them you lose your spark? I lose mine frequently when people drone ad nauseam about their accomplishments or economic policy or cytoplasm. That’s not a living word to me. If you’re an economics or biology person, the story could be totally different, and you probably don’t light up when people mention the Oxford comma.

His phrase rang true because God’s word doesn’t retire in me. It finds a way to get out, whether in speech or action. Or it finds a way to change an internal function, like the way I think. Matches are the opposite of retirement. Sparks indicate life.

It offers a bit of encouragement since I don’t always notice that I’ve learned something or grasped what I’m reading from my Bible in the moment, but being reminded that it’s a living word changes things. It’s not setting up shop inside of me to grow stale and die. It’s bouncing around and changing things and looking for an outlet.

Here’s to postponing retirement and the living word.

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