In this day-to-day, fast-paced life, I tend to feel the pressure. Even though I’m still a young man, retirement sounds nice. I can imagine having time to see the world, meet new people, or start a new adventure. I want to look back on all my accomplishments and enjoy them. This is a good thing to desire. Life is too important to sustain such a busy pace for long. As we are able, we need to take time to rest. The author of Ecclesiastes put it well:
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? (Eccles. 2:24–25)
It’s a good thing to rest, to travel, or meet new and interesting people, but that is far less than what God has promised.
There is a mistake I have too often seen. People live for tomorrow. They have this crazy idea that they should work really hard now so that they can one day get the life they really want. Sixty-hour weeks have become common for a lot of people.
If you are tempted to overwork now, hoping to get that perfect life tomorrow, consider Jesus’ wisdom. In Luke 12:13–21, Jesus tells the parable of a rich fool. He tells the story of a man who worked hard to get what he wanted out of life. After years of working to gain an abundant surplus, the man was finally satisfied with his wealth. But it was too late. Death was just around the corner. His eyes were too big. He wanted too much. Jesus ends the parable by saying, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Often, our expectations are too low. Our desires are misdirected. God offers more than this world can promise. He offers a new creation free from sin, death, and sorrow. If your hope is in Jesus and the promise of a new creation, rest assured that God will keep his promise. Michael Horton states it this way in his book Core Christianity:
God promises more than a better world or a better you. He promises a new creation. This anticipation fills us with more than the ephemeral feeling of well-being that rises or falls with health, wealth, and happiness. It creates joy in our hearts even when we’re lying on our deathbeds. (p. 147)
Continue to be faithful in work, but don’t kill yourself early. It’s good to take an occasional vacation with family or friends. If you are blessed with wealth, thank God for it. Keep your faith in Jesus. Don’t expect too little from God. Hope in a new creation. Let God be your reward.