Old Age and Anxiety

Well, it’s getting closer. The last few weeks have really took a toll on me. I am approaching early retirement age much quicker than anticipated. Remember the guy who said that he would have taken better care of himself if he had known he would live this long? That’s how I feel except I would have saved more money. (Yeah Right) And I would have been more careful with debt (suuuure) and I would have done any other thing that you can think of that should have been done.

When we were kids we would play hide and seek. All the kids but one would go hide. The one who didn’t hide, would close his eyes and count to 100, if they could, or as close to 100 as possible. Then when they reached the last number, they would open their eyes and yell “READY OR NOT HERE I COME!”  As soon as you heard this, you knew that time had run out for you to hide. That’s sort of how I feel about this early retirement thing. Because of the circumstances of the retirement plan at work, my age, the economy and seems like everything else, I have come to realize that this is the smart thing for me to do. BUT, it is not the easiest. Seems that I have become addicted to something that is called “cash flow”. But I’ve been assured that this addiction can be overcome. It just takes time and planning.

God has blessed me with a plan that is as good as any. If nothing major rocks my world then I should be able to enjoy the next few years. I am not really going to retire, just simply going to quit doing what I have been doing and do something else. Just what that something else is going to be hasn’t been answered yet, but it will. We have prayed and now we are trusting. I will confess that I have been asking God for direction while what I really wanted was a road map. That just makes me normal. God gives me a direction and I immediately want to know the details.

I admit that the possibility of being un-employed is a little un-nerving. On one hand, I have the plan. It seems to be solid. On the other hand, I have the unknown. The only thing about this that we know is that it is unknown. We can’t predict what the future holds. No one can know what is going to happen next year, or even the next minute. Short range, I am planning to finish writing this but who knows. Something may prevent me from finishing. Life is like that. We don’t have the promise of tomorrow. BUT, we can have GOD!

The Bible teaches me that I am to live by faith. My earthly wisdom tells me that I need to plan for the worst and hope for the best. God tells me that he will provide. Earthly wisdom tells me that I need to be prepared. God knows the future. My earthly wisdom does not. Which one should I follow? First, I have prepared the best I can but even that may not be enough. (remember the un-known thing) So I am left to worry and deal with anxiety, or I can trust God! He never fails us. Even now as I am going through all this life changing stuff, God has sent me little reminders along the way to help keep me focused on Him. Just today, I got a devotional from Dr. David Jeremiah about the opposite of faith. He pointed out that the opposite of faith was not un-belief, but fear. Jesus pointed this out to his disciples in Mark chapter 4. The disciples were on a ship in a storm in the middle of the sea and they didn’t think they were going to make it to the other side. Jesus was asleep on the ship. They went to Jesus and asked him why he didn’t care that they were about to die. They had anxiety to the highest level. Their future looked dark and they were sure that it was over. Jesus first calmed the storm and then asked them why they were so fearful. Did they have no faith? So there it is. Jesus pointed out that the opposite of faith is fear. I needed that lesson today. At the end of the devotion was a quote that hit home for me. Starting now I am going to try to look at my future with faith and not fear. How about you?

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of faith is the end of anxiety. George Muller

and he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Mark 4:40