Saturday, 8 April 2017

Stop the world and let me off

Can you see me in the picture above? Running round and round in the wheel ever going faster and faster?

That was me years ago when I worked in a managerial position in a big multi-national firm in London.

It was all about responsibilities, working hard, being focused, waking up early and commuting to London, or sometimes travelling long distances on the highway to various locations, getting home late, and doing it all over again day in day out, working all the hours available and more besides.

And at the same time doing one's best to raise a family, paying all the bills, being a good husband, parent, son, sibling, friend and all else besides.

OK ... by now you must all be thinking, "So what? We all have to do that."

And that's exactly the point of my post today.

We all have to do that. Whether we are a manager, a doctor, accountant, lawyer, carpenter, plumber or whatever else our job may be, we all have to do that.

That's what our modern, sophisticated, advanced, enlightened society has created. A wheel for each one of us in which we enter and run ever so faster and not seeming to get anywhere. Ever increasing responsibilities leading to worries, fears, and cares as we try our best to survive in life and keep our heads above water whilst certainly harming our health a little at a time until ...

Life becomes a struggle just to live.

Is that what God wants of us? To spend our lives struggling against all odds to just about survive?

We can't all say, "Stop the world and let me off."

We can't all give up our jobs and responsibilities and go and live a simpler life out in the country. Even that in itself is hard-work if you have to grow your own food to feed your family.

Modern life dictates a certain income if we are at the very least to bob along our perilous journey without sinking; never mind keeping up with the Joneses who seem to be speeding ahead in a motor boat.

And as we grow older, and assuming we survive the struggles that come our way, and we eventually retire there is no respite ahead. No getting off the wheel or at least slowing it down a little.

No ... the work still has to go on. Being there for one's children when they need you, looking after the grand-children when asked, baby-sitting them or taking them to school or shopping and so on, volunteering for this and that, doing a million and one other jobs around the house which for some reason got procrastinated all those years ago; and any spare minutes one has which vaguely resemble leisure have to be filled in with some hobby or other, or some exercise to keep you fit, or some other nonsense which the doctor or nurse has suggested to keep you healthy.

Well, personally I don't care for all that.

For me retirement should mean just that. Retire from life and do nothing.

If the lawn needs cutting just buy yourself a goat to do it for you. It will grow up again anyway.

If the house needs cleaning just start a hobby of collecting dust instead.

If there are books to be read, because you've always promised yourself to read them anyway when you've got time, just wait until they make them into a film; then watch them with the subtitles on and hey presto ... you've read them. (This doesn't apply to my books, by the way; which are always a good read. I'm re-reading mine in my spare time!).

If the nurse suggests exercise to keep you fit just use the remote control for the TV more often; you'd be surprised how nimble your fingers will get. The other day my doctor suggested that I do something every day that leaves me a little breathless - so I took up smoking. And don't waste time and money joining a gymnasium or keep fit club. I did that for six months to lose weight and did not lose one ounce. No one told me that I had to attend regularly too!

Try your best in retirement to avoid work as much as possible especially as you slow down and then ... the final chapters ... as you grow older and older and eventually you ... ... ... die.

Don't for one moment think that when this happens you will rest in peace. No way ...

Should you be fortunate enough to go to Heaven it all starts all over gain ... for eternity.

There's harp playing lessons to attend at least once a week. Trying on new wings and learning to fly like an angel. Meeting relative, friends and acquaintances all over again and visiting each of them in turn over and again for a nice cup of tea and biscuits. Just think for a moment how many visits these will be; and then there is them visiting you in return, before the whole routine starts once again. And don't forget having to join the choir of angels and learning to sing in harmony with the rest of them. And I'm sure that at one stage or other St Peter will ask you every now and then to help him re-paint the Pearly Gates.

It's enough to make you say, "Stop the world and let me off."


  1. Oh, my, Victor. This makes me tired...just thinking about it all! So thankful God led us out of the fast lane a few years ago. Life is so much simpler for us now, praise His name. A lot of it has to do with saying no and letting go of the things that cost so much time, money, and energy to maintain. This frees us up to do what God is calling us to do. Living simply is possible, but it will require one to swim against the current of modern consumerism. God has grace for it, and we are so thankful to have discovered that. We don't need nearly as much as we think we do, and when you think of Jesus and the simple, eternity-focused life He lived, you realize that if you follow Him and His path, regardless how radical it may seem to modern standards, you can get off the frantic hamster wheel, because the only one you care about pleasing is Him. God bless you, my friend.

    1. What a beautiful and sensible comment Cheryl. Thank you.

      You're right, it is possible to get off the hamster wheel, but it is also so difficult. In my case, I was working all the hours that existed and more besides. I remember one year I was writing an important works report on Christmas eve.

      God bless you and your family.

  2. "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him."
    Psalm 62:5

    1. Well said, Lulu. There were times when I worked in London when I really needed rest for sure.

      God bless you my friend.

  3. Hi Victor! Your job sounds a lot like my husbands some years ago. Early hours to start, late getting home...and the travel. That is exhausting, and I'm sure you were very diligent. Phew! Retirement will seem so nice...
    There are actually some corporations who hire goats to 'cut' their grass. Environmentally good for the earth, and they get into those corners you can't reach with a mower. Can you imagine that? I guess it would be relaxing to watch them!

    1. Hello Ceil,

      Yes, it was difficult in those days. I used to get up at 5:00am to be in London by about 8:30am commuting by train every day. Or driving 400 miles to be at my visiting office by 8:30 am.

      Now I wonder. Is it possible to have a goat drive me instead? Or do my job whilst I stay at home eating the lawn. It needs mowing yet again!!!

      Have a prayerful Holy Week, Ceil.

      God bless.

  4. I still have at least seven years until retirement. I never actually looked forward to retirement but lately I have been desiring it. It depends on the work. Current project hasn't been as much fun, but hoping for a change soon.

    Actually I have to say I'm a little afraid of retirement. How shall I pass my time? I might find it boring.

    1. I don't know at what age people retire in America, Manny. In the UK it was age 65 for men and age 60 for women before they can receive the State (Government) pension. This has now increased over the years and we are told people would have to work into their 70's before they get Government pension. Some already do. This is very difficult for some professions; e.g. teaching, or manual work.

      Don't be afraid of retirement Manny. You can always read some more. Or write. There are many books you still have to write, my friend. And that's not forgetting having to paint the garden gate and fence, and re-decorate the house, and do the million and one things you have been asked to do over the years and managed to avoid them. How about cutting the grass once again, that you have just mowed this morning anyway? Did I mention re-painting the gate and fence?

      On second thoughts, there's plenty to be afraid about in retirement.

      God bless you and your family.



God bless you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...