There must be big money in medigap insurance.

Apparently some government records that include birthdays are open to the public and regularly mined by companies hoping to profit from the information. I don’t know whether information brokers glean and sell such information, or if individual companies do the research on their own, or if some government agency sends out a sucker alert, but somehow word got out that I will turn 65 later this year.

porchFor months now, I have been inundated with regular mail, email, phone calls, and even one traveling salesman who came to the door hoping to sell me a medicare supplement policy or some other retirement “products.” Marketers contrive to make the envelopes look like official government business, and some contain dire warnings that I must act NOW.

Never mind that I have no intention of retiring any time soon, and I’m well aware of what I do and do not need to sign up for.

It’s a little reminiscent of when I turned 49 and started getting frequent notices from AARP that I was eligible to join the “American Association of Retired Persons” Who can retire at 50? Why would anyone want to retire at 50?

One of the oldest stories in the Bible insists that the good Lord put us here to work. Whether it’s tending the garden of Eden or making up beds, cooking collards or coding software, painting houses or teaching children the wonders of science, work offers us the opportunity to do more than just take up space. In one way or another, we have the potential for our lives to make a difference.

I’m sure that many people live for the day when they’re old enough to kiss their boss goodbye, draw Social Security, and sit at home watching The Price Is Right.

That sounds like a good recipe for shriveling up and dying. Life needs purpose, and keeping an easy chair warm with an able body is a counterproductive goal. Many “retired” people know that, so they help their neighbors, raise a garden, or do volunteer work. Some claim to be busier than when they were getting paid. Good for them.

I’d like to live a long time. That means I intend to keep a regular job (or jobs) for quite a few years yet, and then stay as active as mind and body will let me, for as long as they will let me. I love a porch, but have not mastered the art of napping on it.

Sorry, folks, you can keep your medicare supplements for now.

Tony Cartledge

About Tony Cartledge

Tony W. Cartledge is contributing editor of Baptists Today, in addition to teaching Old Testament studies and various ministry courses at Campbell University Divinity School. He formerly served as editor of the Biblical Recorder, newspaper of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and as a pastor for 26 years. Tony is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Southeastern Seminary and Duke University, where he earned a Ph.D. He is the author of several books including the Smyth & Helwys commentary on First and Second Samuel and Telling Stories: Tall Tales and Deep Truths and several Bible study books for Nurturing Faith.