Read 2 Samuel 21:15-22

David’s troops protected him in battle.

 v 17.  But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”

David is, by this point in the story, an elderly soldier, still trying to lead his troops into battle. He was not the warrior he once was, and the Philistines cornered him and were close to killing him.  His troops rallied round and prevented that however. Time for the loyal troops to voice their opinion, and they are quite adamant that David should not risk life and limb in battle again. Forced retirement must have come as quite blow to David – as it does to anybody. It carries a double message; ‘You are too precious an asset to lose,’ but then, ‘We think we can manage without you in the battle.

Facing retirement, whether voluntary or compulsory, is not the easiest of situations to manage. Some people dread it because it involves a perceived loss of apparent status or personal value. So much has been invested in the job that to become jobless is almost the end of life!  Others welcome it with open arms because at long last they can sit back and enjoy a more peaceful existence. I wonder which of these competing emotions was uppermost in David’s mind at that moment! What concerns us today is that David’s soldiers were committed to him, wanting to protect him.

Retirement from ‘work’, however successful you were deemed to be, is a defining moment in life for many people. We rarely talk about it. Is it simply a moment to re-orientate life into ‘voluntary work’ in Church or Community? Does it carry a threat of not being needed any longer? Is it a time to find new hobbies?  Can you talk about this with friends – and with God too?

Thursday 29th July Daily Notes from The Hub