I don’t know what got me thinking this morning about the future but I found myself imagining a job in a think tank. You know those places where knowledgeable people sit around noodling about what things might be like in 5, 10 or 15 years: and get paid for it as well.
I think I woud like to try it sometime—maybe when I retire, since I already know that that will probably never happen in the sense of the word that we grew up thinking it would mean. You know like total rest and relaxation after a life’s full of work.
I don’t know about you but I started working as a kid during Michigan’s snowy winters. There were plenty of older folks in our neighborhood who would pay to have their walks and porches shoveled. Sometimes it would snow a couple of days during the week and we’d not have school. On those days, I’d take off from home and roam the roads around my house, knocking on doors and working til I was tired shoveling snow—sometimes a couple of inches and sometimes a whole lot more.
During the summers it was lawn mowing and then two paper routes and by the time I was 15, I got a summer job as a janitor and also became a parking lot manager for a local department store after school.
That being said, my sense of retirement and social security entitlement go back a long ways.
However, several years ago, I was with my wife Sandi at a Friday evening worship and prayer time in a town about 25 minutes from Boone. After the music was over, there was a brief teaching and then we were invited up front for prayer. I headed toward one of the fellows leading the group. He was one of the musicians and well respected in the greater Christian community. He looked at me, grabbed my hands and after a few minutes of silence told me that he believed that the word of the Lord for me was that I was never going to retire. I thanked him for praying, found Sandi and headed up the mountain for home.
I will have to say at this point that I was quite disturbed by this new information. Here I had looked forward to retiring at some point in my life and now I was being told somewhat prophetically that there would be no retirement for me. However, by the time we had arrived home I had begun to think that this news was really good news after all. What I now believed was that quite the contrary, I was going to be fully engaged and occupied right up to the time I would pass from this life into the next. That I would lead a useful life for the rest of whatever I had left became a very positive aspect in my point of view surrounding the whole process of aging and retirement.
Back to the think tank.
There is one thing I know about life and that is that in order to fully enjoy it, you must be willing to grow and expand your point of view as to what it really means. Change is inevitable and should be embraced and looked at as our friend rather than our enemy.
To this end, Sandi and I are entering the future without a landline and live broadcast television. The think tankers have been saying that this is a trend for years. Cell phone service is much better today and the thought of watching TV in a serialized fashion (a new episode each week) is going the way of the daily paper. Sandi and I now watch a season of this or a season of that on Netflix and pick up the weekly stuff on Hulu when and if we are in the mood. It is entertainment when we want it and this my friends is the future. Cable and satellite still charge for several hundred channels when all we really watch are maybe 5 or 6. But ala carte is the future along with streaming when and where you want it.
My thought is this: there is someone in a think tank somewhere who knows what things are going to look like in the next few years. I would certainly like to know what’s on their mind.
Have a great ride.