Sometimes our best efforts at dealing with the challenges of retirement and adequate resources might be summed up in these words from the Scriptures: ''Ye have sown much, and bring in little; . . . he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.'' n1
n1 Haggai 1:6.
But why should the so-called ''golden years'' be tarnished with the corrosive effects of fear, insecurity, lack? How can we feel assurance at that time of life when the family is grown and we are no longer working at a full-time job?
Isn't part of the need to spiritualize and uplift our view of life itself and to maintain a sense of conscious worth; self-respect of the highest sort? This isn't just a ''pie in the sky'' outlook. Rather it's a deeply Christian standpoint that gives us the poise and inner peace which inevitably lead to solutions instead of frustration.
Christ Jesus stated as the purpose of his unequaled ministry, ''I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.'' n2 This priceless gift to us all has no age limits. It isn't inadequate until age twenty-one; nor is it worn out at sixty-five. The Master taught and demonstrated the indestructible, spiritual nature of life. He showed that God is Life itself, the sole basis of true existence; the actual source of identity, purpose, worth.
n2 John 10:10.
Life, God, is the greatest resource available to us. Divine Life includes in itself all that is ever needed for the well-being of its creation. God's being never wears out or comes to a dead end, and, according to the Bible, man was created to express God's being. This spiritual truth can never be put into a framework of material ages.
When he was seventy-five, the Scriptures tell us, the patriarch Abraham was called to leave his homeland, take a long journey, and settle in a new area. This guidance from God was an opportunity to expand his spiritual growth and development. Although he left the security of his former surroundings, there is no mention of Abraham yearning for what was left behind. God's purpose for him was so alive in his heart that all sorts of adversities were met and overcome.
''But,'' you may say, ''I'm not Abraham. In fact, he and other Biblical figures seem rather remote to me. I'm faced with poor health and the fact that my lifelong investments haven't kept up with inflation.''
Yet Abraham's experience points to the unlimited spiritual nature of life, which applies to us all and can be demonstrated, at least to some degree, by us all. His experience shows that a willingness to drop the past and preserve a sense of God-impelled purpose will do much. It is actually laying up ''treasures in heaven.'' ''Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal,'' the Master taught. ''But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'' n3
n3 Matthew 6:19-21.
''Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'' Isn't this the real answer to the question of retirement and supply?
God is infinite, unrestricted good. Man, His expression, is inseparable from this goodness. Discouragement, cynicism, hopelessness, can no more be a part of man's actual life than they can be a part of God, the one creator, the Supreme Being. Life, God, is forever expressing His oneness, allness, goodness. We are beneficiaries of this.
''Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love,'' 4 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. We can all progressively prove this in our own lives. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. . . . Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalms 16:5, 6, 11