Dear Mr. Small,
I’ve read several of your books, and I know you are a retired Christian sociologist. I have a problem. 1 retired recently, and I’m going through the identity thing. I’m really confused about who I am now and what I should do with my life. Golf; gardening, and a bit of travel isn’t enough. I’m often depressed, and would like my life to count for something more. Do you have any suggestions?
Alex Comfort may have had this oft-repeated dilemma in mind when he commented, "Two weeks is about the ideal length of time to retire. " Ask anyone now retired, especially those from professional or business careers, and most will agree. Their reply usually reflects some difficulty or disappointment in a lack of direction or an inability to find fulfillment in this new beginning. More than anything else, what they are saying—whether they recognize it or not—is that life needs to be meaningful and significant for retirement to have real value.
University of California historian Page Smith goes so far as to oppose retirement altogether, insisting that retirement leaves us at loose ends and underfoot, contributing only to the "hardening of arteries, joints, and opinions."
But can the value of retirement years be dismissed so easily? No. The brighter side—a newly productive and satisfying life for God and one’s self, a life that counts retirement years as bonus years—is what this book is all about.
There are effective solutions to the psychological and social needs that make for a positive outlook. We need to face the serious problems that retirement dislocations can force upon us. Retirement can be either dream or disaster. So let’s begin with the most difficult of transitional adjustments, find the means for coping, then turn to the excellent possibilities ahead. Let me say it loudly and clearly—God has a retirement plan for each of us—for you! And He waits to make it known! It is ours to pray about, actively seek, and then commit to.