When I retired from my job with the Federal government—exactly 5 years ago this week—since I would no longer have a boss telling me what to do, I imagined I was gaining control of my life. But God cares about me too much to allow such a mockery of maturity: growing in Christ always involves giving up autonomy—“Pick up your cross, and follow Me!”
Today as I am thinking about going to my chemo infusion appointment,
Jesus’ words to Peter come to mind, “when you are old, you will stretch out
your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don't want to go"
(John 21:18). Indeed, this morning I
will “stretch out my hand,” and a needle will be thrust into my veins infusing a
toxic substance. I can assure you this “takes
me where I don’t want to go.” While I am aware
Jesus’ words to Peter refer to the latter’s death, they most certainly also imply death to one's desire for
independence: “follow Me” (20:21).
No one likes to imagine themselves getting ‘old’ and dependent. But it will surely happen. And how well we handle that loss of control at
65 depends entirely on how well we handled it at 25, 35, 45, and 55.