Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27

Ashamed (but not overly so), last year I made too much of our approaching retirement. Our friends and co-laborers made too much of it by giving us a memorable farewell, for which we’re very thankful. Though we are still working part time, we get the question all the time (and we love answering it), “Well, tell me how retirement is going, Bro. Ricky.” I can honestly report that, for the past nine months, the Lord has had us back in His classroom, learning and re-learning old truths. I would share just one with you in this blog.

People often say of a married couple, “You two are so opposite,” and it is quite often very true. It was Robbie who told Christine during a semi-serious discussion over something, “A little more Gwen and a little less Ricky.” One of the things we are being instructed in by Scripture and the Spirit is about that other couple, “Hurry” and “Worry.” Life is changing and I am a little embarrassed about having to restructure my thinking around these two polar personalities. I am Mr. Hurry and Gwen is Mrs. Worry, and it’s been that way since the two of us were teenagers. Opposites do attract, but they also collide. Hurry will trouble (“be troubled”) your life, and Worry will make you afraid (“be afraid”). Actually, these are bad companions for Christians at any age.

Lately Gwen and I are learning to cast off Hurry and Worry and put on the Fruit of the Spirit. Hurry and Worry are always at war with each other. It used to be a lifestyle of me running ahead in a Hurry and Gwen lagging behind in Worry. Hurry is reckless, and Worry is overly cautious. Hurry sees the opportunities every day, while Worry sees the obstacles in the way. Hurry misses all the little things that make life so worth living, and Worry sees nothing but the things that have nothing to do with living the abundant life in freedom. Hurry never thinks about the consequences of quick decisions, and Worry hesitates to make a decision at all—after all, it might be the wrong one!

One of the great blessings of our lives as we move into the decade of the “70’s” is the precious presence of the Lord. Oh, He’s always been there for us; we never could have done His will otherwise. Only now, it seems His grace has made time a little more precious to us in knowing He is right here, right now, in these days of change.

It’s embarrassing to have to go back through remedial courses, especially this old one called “Hurry and Worry 101.” One should not have to retire in order to learn better how not to “Hurry” and “Worry.” It’s not only that retirement is better without these two dragging you around, life itself is better.The Lord knew that when He said, “Let not your heart be troubled (Hurry); neither let it be afraid (Worry).”

And keeping it all in biblical context, be sure you see the first part of the verse, “Peace I leave with you.” In such turbulent days as these, don’t wait until you are retired to realize that the Prince of Peace is the reward for getting rid of Mr. Hurry and Mrs. Worry.