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This is a tragedy.

The title of the article: “Start Now, Retire Early”

“February 1998–
Bob and Penny took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot troller, play softball, and collect shells.”

That’s a tragedy! That’s a tragedy!

And there are people in this country who are spending billions of dollars to get you to buy it. I plead to you with all my heart, don’t buy that dream. The American Dream: a nice house, a nice car, a nice job, a nice family, a nice retirement collecting shells, as the last chapter before you stand before the Creator of the universe to give an account with what you did.

“Here it is, Lord: my shell collection! Look, Lord! My shell collection! And I’ve got a good [golf] swing! And look at my boat!


Look at my boat, God…”

John Piper, message at Passion: One Day, given on Memorial Day 2000 at Shelby Farms, Memphis, TN

It’s much easier to fight for ourselves and to strive for goals and dreams which are tangible and which benefit us than it is to serve others. I imagine that’s why we all tend toward the former as opposed to the latter. But, at the end of the day, financial success and social success will have come and they will have gone. Right now, opportunities to love others and die to ourselves are all around. One selfless decision, action, conversation, or even one selfless word can make a lasting difference.

Do you have time? Give it away. Do you have excess money? Give it away. Do you have talents or skills? Give them away and use them for the good of the community, whether local or distant. Do you have a wealth of knowledge? Give it away and teach those you come into contact with. Do you have a past (or present) filled with suffering and hardship which you conquered or even merely survived? Give it away and share your story with others in the dark places in life, even if their situation doesn’t match yours.

Do you have love?

Give it away.


One Comment

  1. Hello Jonathan,

    I must share with you that today I am heartbroken. Please pray for me.

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