REIMAGINING RETIREMENT: RECOVERING A VISION OF ELDERHOOD FOR THE GLOBAL CHURCH.

Photo: Lausanne Movement.

By Jeff Haanen - Posted at Evangelical Focus:
"A biblical picture of retirement is not one of heroism nor hedonism, but listening to God’s voice and responding in love as elders, intent on sharing wisdom and blessing with the next generation. It is simply a life of service, pointing beyond our self to the Servant in whose image we are made."
Greg Haanen recently turned 65 and retired from a career selling print advertising. For over 14 years, he lived in Minneapolis, while his wife Gayle ran Interlachen Inn, a small restaurant in Alexandria, Minnesota. 

Having lived apart from her for over a decade, he was ready to say good riddance to the two-hour commute every weekend, to spending nights alone, and to a life of hurry and obligation. 

They sold their house in Minneapolis and renovated their cabin with a deluxe fireplace, big screen TV, and farmhouse kitchen. He was eagerly awaiting a new season of rest and relaxation. 

Yet his honeymoon period was short-lived. Less than three months after retirement, his sister went in for another round of chemotherapy, having battled cancer for years. However, this time, she started to decline fast. 

In only weeks, he found himself coordinating hospice details, calling family, and moving her out of her apartment. As images of a carefree retirement on a beach slowly receded, he confessed to me, his son, ‘I feel like there’s something more for me; but I’m just not sure what.’

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