I'm a sailor. I enjoy the fresh salt air of the ocean and the sound of the sea being cut in two by a ship at high speed. I even enjoy the smells of an engine exhaust as the bridge orders up more speed, and the feel of the ship beneath me as her engines and gears respond. It makes me happy.
About a year ago, while I was waiting (im)patiently for my commission to Chief Warrant Officer, I thought it might be nice to retire after 30 years of service, get my kids off to whatever lives they were meant for, and settle down with my wife in a small house by the ocean wherein we would sail on our small yacht. I didn't know exactly how I would get that yacht, but I thought it would be nice to have one. Or, worst case scenario, a larger motor boat that can make trips on the ocean. Maybe not as luxurious and big as a nice fancy yacht, but close.
But that contrasts with the part of me that says I should take that guaranteed retirement and get into missions work overseas where my pension can practically care for everything I need, or get hired on by some small church that can't afford a full-time pastor. Or maybe work in the slums of some large city.
Or maybe not, because a missionary/pastor/social worker can't have a yacht! That's just wrong! I'd have people attending my church that don't have a nice boat, and yet I do? It'd be an outrage.
So maybe pastoring isn't in the cards for me, if a yacht is. Maybe I should just budget my money well, give to the poor and various missionaries and ministries, and take missionaries and ministers out on my boat for a nice relaxing break when they come through on furlough. What a great ministry!
What in the world? It would seem that my fantasies regarding my future retirement have one of two options. Either I am well off from my pension and other work I take on and have a leisurely life, or I leave the busy, stressful life of a Navy sailor and immediately go to working "Spurgeon-hard" in ministry.
Here's the problem. The Bible would seem to call all of us to a life of simplicity. It doesn't matter if you are a minister or a businessman. It doesn't appear to matter if you're a powerful lawyer or a small farmer. We are all called to live simply so we can serve others.
To put it bluntly, I could become a powerful man after my retirement from the Navy, and I still don't get a yacht. I'll get over it.
Verses used in study: