“In spite of Covid-19 even the retired can set goals” is the title that Paul Beasley-Murray gave to a recent blog. He was reminded of the book, Extra Time: 10 Lessons for an Ageing World by Camilla Cavendish, who wrote: “‘Extra time’ is the period when there’s everything to play for’”, and went on: “We need to see Extra Time as a starting point, not as the beginning of the end”.
Paul then changed the metaphor, looking at life as like a marathon, where it is the final stage that matters, and quoted the Chairman of a US Center for the Future of Aging:
When you run a marathon at a certain point you hit the wall. Then you go through it. Towards the end you get the ‘kick’. The fewer years we have left, the closer the end, the value of our time goes up. We should see this as an opportunity to speed up. We have to make people believe that this can be the most valuable time of their life.
Paul identified with these sentiments, being not yet ready for his rocking chair(!), and feeling like saying, with eighty-five-year old Caleb, “Give me this mountain!” (Joshua 14.12). So, at the beginning of another year, he suggested now is the time for him and for us to set some goals.
Do read the rest of his blog, where he outlines some of his goals, and is amazed at what can be achieved by a combination of technology and creativity despite all the Covid-19 restrictions. Paul also reminds us of the words of Paul Tournier: “Of God alone can the Bible say (Genesis 2.1) that on the evening of the sixth day of creation he had completed his work”. So, with your work not yet complete, think about setting some goals for how God would have you serve him in 2021.
The image “Working together: from Old People’s Home for Four-year-olds, Channel 4” comes from this review of Camilla Cavendish’s book.