DISORIENTATION IS THE PITS. When you travel a lot (like airline personnel) you must deal with it. When you fight deadlines as days run into nights (like tax consultants and publishing editors and pastors) you must work out ways to cope with it. When you are confined to tight places or inescapable spaces (like astronauts or prisoners or victims of confining illnesses)—again, that old bugaboo is there ready to bite, leaving you in the wake of depression or one of its emotional relatives. It happens frequently after people retire.
I watched my own father cave in after he retired, as disorientation replaced definitive living. His sense of humor soon lost its keen edge. His once-adventurous spirit turned to restlessness. He talked less, he traveled less, he read less, and—what’s worse—he thought less. Not because he was without money or without health . . . but because he was without purpose.
Why bother you with all this? Why worry about such a distant dilemma in this day of circus-like atmosphere and a schedule that would fatigue a rhino? Well, as Solomon once said,
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.
Want to fight back? Make and cultivate a few very close friends. Stay in touch with people. Give yourself to others. Read widely. Exercise regularly and strenuously. Turn the TV off—get off the Internet. Fight the rut of routine. Leave time for leisure. Have more fun. Laugh more often.
Take up a hobby or pastime that gets you outdoors. Don’t let your occupation enslave you. Eat less. Quit fussing. Encourage at least one person every day. Stop living just for yourself. Plant a garden. Replace fake plants with real ones in your home. Trust God for something that seems impossible. Loosen up your intensity. Stop taking yourself (and your kids) so seriously. Start now.