Monthly Archives: September 2012

Christian Retirement

We just had about a month of Australian Football League (AFL) qualifying finals and so the footy season was at fever pitch in September. Fans had turned up in hordes for the grand final parade despite the inclement weather in Melbourne.

As I was finishing up on this blog, the grand finals match was being played and shown ‘live’ on television. Even though the teams we supported were out of contention for the trophy, we were still nervous especially when the two final teams drew level with only eight minutes left to the game!

In Australia, sporting heroes are often highly revered. AFL players, especially the top-tiered ones, have a very decent income in their short playing careers. But emotionally and psychologically, many would have to deal with a change from being placed on a pedestal on the playing field to playing pedestrian outside the league. Monetary wise, they would need to be smart in managing their finances, through a second career or adjustments in their lifestyles and expenditures.

In Perth, there is a Telethon fund-raising drive that has taken place annually since 1968 (similar to Singapore’s Community Chest). One of the related events is the Chris Mainwaring Legends Match, where the players of yore from the local West Coast Eagles club and an opponent team would relive the good ol’ days for charity.

The Eagles alumni call themselves the OWLs, which stands for Older, Wiser… and Larger. This year, the OWLs are playing the CATs from the Geelong Football Club. Well, not exactly the current team of CATs, but the alumni TOMcats… which stands for Tired Old Men.

We have quite a chuckle over the  current series of promotion and love the way the veterans are able to laugh at themselves. These charity matches are usually not played in earnest. You could see some players taking extended breaks and even eating a packet of fries on the field!

While this is all in good fun, the sad fact is still that natural human heroics and heroes are but fickle and transient.

But thank God that fading into retirement and oblivion was never His blueprint for His child.

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28 to 31

Noah did everything the Lord instructed him to and entered the ark, the tangible result of his service for God, at 600 years old. Enoch walked faithfully with God and God took him away at age 365. Consider the fact that God did not set up a retirement village for Abraham (75 years old), Moses (80 years old) and Caleb (85 years old). He called them instead for a new mission for their lives.