Why Men Shouldn’t Retire
I heard something that startled me this past weekend. I didn’t really believe it, so I turned to Google to find out if it was true. Sure enough, it was right.
Older white men commit suicide at a higher rate than any other population group.
Does that surprise you?
Now, here’s the question that I think we all need to ask ourselves after hearing something like that. Why?
I guess you could attribute it to health. Men aren’t able to do what they used to be able to do and they wonder what the use is in going on. They don’t want to suffer or go downhill any further.
But could it be something else as well?
I’m convinced that we men are created for a purpose. We are created for quest. Much of that sense of purpose comes from our work. We want to believe that our lives consist of something much larger than ourselves. When we quit work, when we retire, too often that purpose is gone.
I don’t have scientific evidence to back this up, though I don’t doubt that it exists. However, I do see anecdotal evidence of this all around me. The men I know who retire too often don’t fill the void left from not having their careers with something else. They don’t have a true purpose left to pursue in their lives.
I have about 16 to 19 years left until I will be eligible to retire. I have decided that while I may not always work at my job, when it comes to retiring, I’m not for it. I’ve decided that I’m going to need a purpose, a reason to get out of the bed everyday when I’m older.
I think of Caleb when these thoughts come to mind. Caleb was 85 and wanted the hill country in the Promised Land so he could battle giants. He needed something bigger than himself. He needed to fulfill God’s purposes as he aged.
That’s a good model for the rest of us. We aren’t being put out to pasture when we retire. We have the opportunity to focus our attention in a different direction than we could have when we were working.
Are you going to retire? What are you going to do to have a purpose in your life when you “retire”?