Monday, May 20, 2013

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

Planning your retirement? At the end of last week David Beckham decided to call it a day at age 38.

We add his name to those of Alex, Benedict, Rowan and Beatrix. Just the Christian names of some amazing people with one thing in common.

Adding the titles of these people we get Sir, Your Holiness, Most Reverend and Your Royal Highness.

The long-standing manager of Manchester United, the best-known footballer on the planet, the former Pope, the last Archbishop of Canterbury and the Queen of the Netherlands. In the last six months they've all stepped down from the jobs for which we knew them best.

But 'retired'?

Surely not. Their opinions and advice will continue to be sought. They have stepped back from major responsibility but now have the opportunity to devote their lives to that which they love - from recluse to racehorses, academia to ambassador.

The Cuban pianist Ruben Gonzales came to notice when Ry Cooder discovered his band the Buena Vista Social Club. Gonzales was in his seventies. He eventually played at the Carnegie Hall and died in his eighties. On his grave it says 'You never know when your flower will bloom.'

The Bible values older people. It tells us Abraham was famously ancient when he heard God's call to set off on an amazing life journey. And that Moses started his dialogue with Pharaoh aged 80.

What can we say? You may retire from responsibility but you don't get to retire from life. You may yet hear a call from a higher power. Please listen.

No comments: