This weekend we had an opportunity to join some of our good friends at their lake house. My friend is an HR executive at a large public company here in OKC, so he is very familiar with Myers Briggs. He happens to be an INFP, and according to the Star Wars comparison, he is Luke Skywalker. My ENTJ personality is Princess Leia. After some time together I made an off the cuff statement. “I am retired this weekend - no time, no schedule, no items to execute or deliverables I am responsible for. I am retired.” Just a few moments later, I commented on the timing of the day, and I got called out. My response was “I’m retired, not dead.” ;)
Retired?! In my mid-40’s I have a concept of what being retired will look like, but I have no idea if it’s accurate. As I sit here on a beautiful deck patio overlooking a beautiful cove filled with boats, wave runners and other water toys I am contemplating the statement “I’m retired.” My off the cuff remark was used because I instinctively thought pleasure and pure enjoyment could only happen when I am retired. Or maybe better stated is when I am retired I can then have joy.
This is a broken and distorted mindset. I don’t actually believe it, but there is a part of my thinking and mindset still in this camp of “When/Then” thinking. When I am retired, then I can unplug and have Joy. I struggle with the unplugging part; I think I always have. My motor struggles to come down and idle on its own, I have had to work hard to pull it back, and it’s still a long way from feeling natural or even ok.
This full throttle motor is dangerous and very unhealthy. It’s a mindset that becomes destructive and honestly very heartbreaking to God. Remember the Ten Commandments the Lord gave to Moses? Yes, it’s relevant today and on this very topic. The Sabbath.
Driving home from the lake, Robin and I listened to this powerful message from Pastor Robert Morris, The Principle of Rest. Morris unpacks the Sabbath in a excellent manner and reminds us how important the commandment is. Simply put, God can and will do more with six blessed days than seven self-made days. It’s a principle of trust and obedience, as well as drawing us to our core reliance and dependence on God. The Sabbath brings harmony and balance to the week; it creates a rhythm and weekly habit of disciplined rest. Our body, mind, and soul need it.
You see, the mindset that thinks retirement is when I can have real unplugged joy is the same mindset that just hangs on for dear life until a vacation. This is a mindset that won’t last and will lead to destruction and collapse. We were created to work and rest. Six days of work and one day of rest. Fully rest, remember the severity of the verse - “Anyone who works on that day must be put to death.” God meant business with the Sabbath, we need to honor and obey it.
No, I’m not retired, and not sure I plan on retiring anytime soon, or ever for that manner. But I desire in the deepest of ways to find pure joy and fulfillment in all walks of life. I love and cherish God‘s calling on my life, my job, and ministry! But because I love the Lord my God first and foremost, I will honor and obey His Word and obey commandment regarding the Sabbath. Now the hard work begins, retraining the brain for an actual Sabbath. I don’t anticipate it will be easy or without resistance.