How is the Sabbath similar to Retirement

Finding your purpose outside of work


Those that read my blog regularly, know I led a group of men through Bob Buford’s book, Finishing Well.  It is a book that helps individuals transition from our working lives to how we will live our lives after we no longer are expected to show up at the office every day.  Bob Buford calls it the ability to leave the identity we found in our work to pursue a life of significance with the extra time given now that the daily work responsibilities have been left behind.

The one quote that got my attention was, “Life after we stop working is not meant to be lived on the front porch in a rocking chair waiting for the hearse to come”  This is where I started thinking about how the Sabbath can be compared to Retirement.  It started with a Sunday School class on the Sabbath.  My mindset has recently changed because of my decision to start the transition from full time work to retirement.  I started asking myself the question, what could I do that wasn’t work but allowed me to pursue God with the time freed up by not having to be in the office every day?


The Sabbath is supposed to be about rest so that you can go about your work the other 6 days of the week.  I am coming  to understand that the same can be said about retirement.  I don’t think there is any mention of retirement mentioned in the bible.  Everyone has different ideas of what are and not to do on the Sabbath and for that matter retirement. Although there are many, for this blog post, I want to focus on one general concept for taking a day or rest and for spending our time once we leave whatever has been our full-time work.

That concept is leaving work behind so that you can have the time to “Be Still and know that He is God.” https://biblehub.com/psalms/46-10.htm  On the Lord’s Day, we are to take the time to come to the Father with the intent of laying our burdens down.  https://biblehub.com/matthew/11-28.htm  Making the day holy as He is Holy.  The question that needs to be asked is, “How do I make the Sabbath a day that is different than the other 6 days?”  I am asking the same question now that my work life has changed.  “How do I make Retirement different that what I have done for so many years now?”

It comes back to the desire to live a faithful life which creates significance and allows me to finish well.  My hope is to not fill the extra time I now have with busyness but instead seek God in ways I haven’t sought Him before so that I can determine what purpose He has for me in this new season in life.  Isn’t that really what the purpose of the Sabbath is as well? Taking that 7th day to stop and reflect on the fact that God loves us hopefully encourages us to live a faithful life during the work week.  This rest and worship pause should help our actions have a significant impact on the lives around us.  

One thing is for sure.  I don’t want to be that person waiting on the front porch waiting for life to end.  I want to continue to practice the presence of God in my life so I can seek His purpose in all that I do.  I hope you want to do the same.  Brother Lawrence https://spirituallyhungry.com/practicing-the-presence-of-god/ sums it up this way.  “God has infinite treasures to bestow.  When He finds a soul penetrated with a living faith, He pours into it His grace and blessings plentifully. When He does, it will flow out like a torrent, finding a way around every obstacle; spreading out with extravagant and reckless abundance”  May your Sabbath and/or in Retirement, provide you this hope and desire.  I can be reached by email at [email protected]

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