I retired. Yes, it’s only been 3 months. But a lot has happened in these 3 months. I’ve gone through a couple of viral illnesses, said goodbye to my youngest son who moved overseas, opened a “retirement business,” started a fun job working for a company I believe in, and now dealing with my father’s impending death. Yes, a lot has happened.
I was blessed to be able to leave my job in time to spend some time with my son and his family before they left for Italy for 3 years. I was blessed to have enough savings to carry us through until my retirement funds could kick in. I was blessed to have time to write for my new endeavor – Hope Breastfeeding Support – and learn how to manage my website. I’m learning that, yes, old dogs can learn new tricks. I’ve been blessed to have a couple of clients in that endeavor.
But I’m still not settled in my path. I’m not sure if my “business” will succeed – or that I even want it to. The stress and responsibility of being “it” for my clients is hard. I find it hard to gracefully back out when they still have needs – and I have gone far beyond the limits I set up. And with this continuing vacillation in my soul, it’s hard for me to commit to other opportunities. I hate to say no, but I don’t want to say yes and not be able to keep my promises.
Retirement is both easier and harder than I thought. There are more opportunities than I expected, but I find that aging has taken away some of my stamina. My prayer is that I will stay close to God and listen to His voice wherever He may lead.
From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
1) a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b: fidelity to one’s promises : sincerity of intentions
2 a: belief and trust in and loyalty to God : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b: firm belief in something for which there is no proof: complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof:
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion:
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.:
5. a system of religious belief:
6. obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement,etc.:
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath,allegiance, etc.:
Webster’s 1913 Dictionary
6. Credibility or truth.
Above are three different dictionary definitions of faith. I have deliberately left out the examples given by each site. Dictionary.com is the most contemporary of dictionaries. As you can see, it introduces a definition of faith that includes the statements “belief without proof”. The 1913 Webster dictionary includes “belief based on authority and veracity, reliance on testimony.” A secondary definition includes “firm and earnest belief based on probable evidence of any kind.”
The Bible has much to say on faith – “without faith, it is impossible to please God,” “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” “the just shall live by faith.” In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is actually faithfulness – meaning persistent commitment. God is faithful – He keeps His promises. This has great importance – what God promises He will do, will come to pass. It cannot be stopped by anyone.
The problem I have with faith is when it is defined as a “belief without proof.” Many folks will state that those who require proof are without faith. When a scientist or a skeptic points out inconsistencies in a point of view, they are often castigated and pronounced heretics, instead of encouraged to investigate those inconsistencies and try to resolve them. There are many scriptures that invite us to test God – but those invitations also demand action. We test God (in a good way) by walking in the direction He is leading. When we put our faith in Christ, we walk towards Him and away from our selfishness – a life totally bent on pleasing our flesh. We rest in His accomplishments – His death, burial and resurrection – and trust that when we are buried with Him, we will also be raised with Him. The walk by faith is not always an easy one, but the testing and trials we go through strengthen our commitment and character in Him.