I suppose I spent most of my working years griping about my job and looking forward to retirement, but now that it's here I feel at loose ends and don't know what to do with myself. Some of my former co-workers say the same thing. Why am I not satisfied? — G.McN.
Today our nation celebrates Labor Day, and it's good for us not only to stop and honor those whose labor has made this nation great, but also to think about what the Bible says about work. This will help answer your question.
The Bible actually says two things about work that may seem contradictory at first (although they aren't). First, the Bible tells us that when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, one of their punishments was that they and their descendants would have to work: "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground" (Genesis 3:19). Only in heaven will we be free from work's burdens forever.
The second thing the Bible says about work, however, is that God has given it to us, and God is pleased when we do our work well. Work isn't only necessary, but it also can be good and honorable, when we see it as something God has entrusted to us. The Bible says, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Many of you who read this are still working—and I pray you will see your job as a God-given responsibility and privilege. But may this be true of your retirement years also. Ask God to show you how He wants you to spend these years—not just so you will enjoy life, but so you can help and encourage others.