Die With Your Boots On
I spent some time over the last few days watching some of the videos from the R13 Conference that recently took place. R13 is put on by The Resurgence, which is the largest Christian leadership training blog in the world. They have some awesome stuff going on over there. If you haven’t checked them out before, you can visit their website at theresurgence.com
As I was watching some of the main sessions and interviews, there was one line that has really stuck with me. It was when Mark Driscoll and Crawford Loritts spoke of “dying with your boots on”. By this they meant that they had every intention of fulfilling their calling as pastors and preachers right up until the day the Lord took them home. Just like a soldier at war, they would die with their boots on.
I don’t necessarily think that someone who is called into pastoral ministry can never retire from pastoral ministry in a career sense. For some it probably is the right call. But the idea that you never retire from ministry is extremely significant for me. It completely flies in the face of what Western culture values.
Most people try to put forth as little effort as they need to, for as short a time as they need to, so that they can maximize their leisure time. This primarily shows up in the form of retirements that are packed with never-ending vacations, non-stop golfing, sun-tanning, or whatever your version of relaxation is. That stuff is great and all, but it’s not the goal to shoot for in life. Rest and relaxation is meant to re-energize us to do stuff. We were created by God to be productive people for his Kingdom.
I greatly admire older saints who still serve. Our church has a number of older people who have been Christians for decades and spent their lives serving the local church – yet there they are, first ones to arrive, last ones out the door, doing whatever their creaky joints will let them get away with (and then some).
You can retire from whatever career you may be in, but don’t forget that you never retire from following Jesus. You never retire from the great commission. You never retire from serving, generosity, forgiving, loving, and evangelizing. Being a believer in Jesus means every second of your life counts and is to be used for God’s glory. There are no days off, no vacations, no retirements. It’s not the time to kick your boots off and put your feet up. We’re still at war.
I don’t know where you are at in life. But wether you are young or old, close to retirement or years away, always remember that you are called to die with your boots on.
2 Timothy 2:4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.