The Christian hope of resurrection shifts our cultural paradigm and stands in stark contrast to the Western obsession with youth and beauty. Instead of devaluing as we age, our wisdom and experience is a gift to younger generations, rooting them in truth and substantive joy. Life isn't meaningless. And life doesn't end (or begin, for that matter) at retirement! Each day of work and of rest is significant because the life we have in Christ is of an eternal nature. What we do and say matters now and has lasting impact. The more life we experience, the more stories we have of struggle and of hope. And the more stories we have, the more we must share, witnessing to God's faithfulness and calling others to follow Him. The authority that comes with age and experience is invaluable; and the depth of character born from caring for the the sick, disabled, and dying is something our culture desperately needs. In addition, as hard as it is to think about, being the sick, disabled, and dying is also a gift to those around us because in our weakness Jesus' love is made manifest and eternal things are made plain.
Here are some resources to help you navigate the years of retirement, the joys and sorrows of caregiving, grieving and (as hard as it feels to say) dying well.
The Third Third of Life: Preparing for Your Future (IVP), by Walter C. Wright
A Vision for the Aging Church: Renewing Ministry for and by Seniors (IVP), by James Houston and Michael Parker
Souls in Full Sail: A Christian Spirituality for the Later Years (IVP), by Emilie Griffin
Adventure of Ascent: Field Notes from a Lifelong Journey (IVP), by Lucy Shaw
Joy in the Journey: Finding Abundance in the Shadow of Death (IVP), by Steve and Sharol Hayner
A Caregiver's Survival Guide: How to Stay Healthy When Your Loved One Is Sick (IVP), by Kay Marshall Strom
The Way of Grace: Finding God on the Path of Surrender (IVP), by Glandion Carney
Death and the Christian Hope: A Talk by Tim Keller
The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come (IVP), by Rob Moll
A Grief Observed (HarperOne), by C.S. Lewis