Is It Time To Retire?
Every time I drive east and get close to Detroit I look for it! It has been there every time I have went that way and got that far! In 1964 it was part of the World’s Fair in New York! It was a giant Ferris Wheel that was ridden by two million people at the fair including Jacqueline Kennedy and her two children! After the World’s Fair it was decided to put the monument right off of the highway so passing cars could behold it! Have you ever talked to someone numerous times but never met them? Finally when you do get introduced to them in person they almost always look totally different than what you had pictured them! This former Ferris Wheel that you had in your mind is like that too. Instead of the traditional Ferris Wheel we picture, this one is a giant Uniroyal Tire! The seats and motor of the Ferris Wheel are gone, but the monument you can see from the I-94 Highway is a sight to behold! It is the largest tire model ever built as it measures eighty feet tall!
Yesterday on our way back from Battle Creek (about 25 miles) for some reason I focused on the other cars. I was sitting in the passenger seat and instead of the body of the cars my attention was drawn to their wheels. I was thinking to myself what an amazing invention the wheel has been for man! We tend to take a lot of things for granted in this world and the wheel is one of them. Consider the 1800’s when people had to get around on horseback and wagons. The automobile offers us so much freedom in life! We can get in the car and travel for miles and come back home fast enough to enjoy the rest of the day! I was also amazed by the number of Semi-Trucks on the road and how their wheels were big and turning smoothly! It is something that is totally taken for granted, but think of life without those trucks delivering goods to make our life better!
I think it was in the late 1990’s and my wife and son and I were driving from the Detroit area across the state heading for home on a rainy day. As we got about halfway home the weather got really bad as the rain started coming down in buckets. As I was driving on the interstate the car hydroplaned and I lost control. We were hit and our car ended up spinning into the middle grassy medium. Luckily nobody was hurt but the accident and the ensuing ticket made me realize how important the wheels were on the car. The police officer noticed that one of the tires was not in top condition and mentioned that the accident might have been avoided if it were. I was thankful that the person I bought my car from last year was very thorough in maintaining it! She told us before we made the purchase that she always had good tires on the car because they are the only thing between you and the road.
The giant tire off of the highway has gone through some changes through the years. One of the latest was when they incorporated a giant nail puncturing it. Although the tire had contacted that giant nail it was still sound because of the new high tech design they were using! It was a good campaign and the giant tire was worth more than a thousand words in picturing how safe they portrayed it to be! When you ride on the Uniroyal tire the message is that no matter what comes your way on the road, the tire is able to get through it and keep on going!
It seems to happen every summer. There is road construction going on everywhere. Many times the road is blocked off and a detour route is provided. Other times the cement is ground down to a rough finish. Those roads you just drive over and hope that your tires don’t get damaged. Other times in these zones you can run over nails or other sharp objects. I was driving down I-94 a couple of years ago when my front tire blew out. Luckily I was able to steer the car safely to the side of the road. The car was towed to a tire store and sure enough a nail was found to be the culprit.
When the road is nice and clean with minimal pot holes and construction zones I suppose most tires will get you through. The mark of a good tire is one that can go through the rough roads and like the Uniroyal tire portrays run over things and keep on going! For that reason it is very important to keep good tires on your car at all times. If the weather was good I probably would not have had that accident on I-94. The problem with having a tire not up to speed (pardon the pun) is that you never know what lies ahead in the road. You also never know when the rains may come and your tire is challenged to perform.
Sometimes the easiest thing that people can do is give advice to others. Maybe a friend comes to us and shares a situation in their life. Isn’t it easy to give the “if I were you” advice? The fact of the matter is that we are not them. We are not walking in their shoes or going over the same road that they are. There are times when we reach our limit on how we can help. There are times when the road needs to be traveled head on. It is in those times that we need to re-tire. In other words we need a change of our spiritual tires. When we get a fresh relationship with God it is like putting on new tires as he helps us go over the bumpy roads. We always want to avoid the bad roads in front of us, but sometimes to get to our destination we need to go straight over them. We’ve all heard the saying “That is when the rubber hits the road.” When the rubber does hit the road doesn’t it make sense to have the best tires on the car for whatever lies ahead?
To anyone who Googled the right time to retire and were expecting retirement advice, and my article appeared, I can only say this to you. I know it is important to know when to retire. Most people retire without enough money which is a major problem. However, the most important thing in life is our relationship with God. Even the most prepared people can find themselves feeling empty as their road after retirement becomes bumpy. If your relationship with God never started or if you used to be so much closer to God than you are now take comfort. God still desires to have you close to him! He desires to change your proverbial tires so that you can go through the hard road that you are on!
As I think about that giant Uniroyal tire just off of the highway I see in my mind the big nail protruding from it’s tread. The nail is more than just a slight bump in the road. It represents something that could destroy both the tire and the vehicle depending on it. The nail is sticking out as a testimony from the tire. It is almost like it is saying “even though I have obstacles in my way I am rolling forward!” A beat up worn out tire wouldn’t have that testimony. It would blow out possibly causing a dangerous crash, or at best a major inconvenience. The brand new tire ignores the obstacles and keeps going, much like you and I can when we let God re-tire us for his glory!