By David Gill, reprinted from The 313.
R. Paul Stevens is professor emeritus of marketplace theology and leadership at Regent College, Vancouver BC, and a marketplace ministry mentor. He has worked as a carpenter and businessman, and served as the pastor of an inner-city church in Montreal. He has written many books, including Doing God’s Business, Work Matters and The Other Six Days. He is coauthor of The Marketplace Annotated Bibliography.
In Part One of Aging Matters, Paul Stevens reviews and critiques some common views of retirement that mostly consist of escaping work! He then discusses work in biblical terms, where “financial compensation,” jobs, employment and career, recede below an understanding of “calling,” gifts and work. What has God called us to do in the “third third” of life with our gifts, experiences, talents and opportunities? Stevens reviews not just the teachings of the Bible about work but several stories of biblical folk doing important work even at advanced ages, such as Moses. If and when we are liberated from the need to go where there is a salary, the post-career stage can open up opportunities of extraordinary freedom for our work choices.
In Part Two, Stevens turns to matters of spirituality and the vices and virtues of aging. He unpacks and applies the “Seven Deadly Sins” to our work and aging – and turns to the Pauline virtues of faith, hope and love as the positive alternative. In Part Three, the operative concept is “legacy.” Can we do some careful reviewing of our life and some honest preparation for our inevitable end here on earth? How can we leave a legacy, not just financially (though Stevens emphasizes the importance of that) but in terms of care, mentoring and encouraging others, and in setting a great personal example of attitude, word, and deed?
Our eighty-something brother and teacher Paul Stevens provides solid biblical arguments throughout Aging Matters, lots of very practical advice and encouragement, many stories and vignettes of aging workplace discipleship, and excellent reflection and study group questions for each of his chapters. If you are “aging” – or if you have family or friends in this demographic – I would urge you to buy, read, and give away Aging Matters. The clock is running!
Paul Stevens has a late of wisdom. This should be helpful