Why No One Actually Wants to Live Forever

Or at least, if “forever” is like retirement, or a passive heaven.

Gemma Malley argues in Slate that nobody really want to live forever, as it would be “really, really dull”:

My first assignment was to write an article on preretirement training. Training, as in a two-day course offered to people who were approaching retirement. I remember shaking my head in disbelief—people really needed to learn how to do nothing? How to hang out and chill? Retirement was just one long holiday, right? How hard could it be?

Well, actually, pretty hard, it turned out. Depression runs high among retirees, and not just because of reduced income—in fact, the baby boomers who have recently retired are living a life of relative luxury compared with those of us still a few decades away. No, the reason they get depressed is because when you’re retired, it is easy to feel like you have nothing to live for anymore, no purpose, nothing to get up for, no reason to even get dressed.

In a word, they are bored.

This retirement of enforced passivity, is one of the dreams of sinful men – “eternal freedom, no work, no law, no responsibilities, and eternal ease” – but has nothing to do with the eternal state of Christians. “Love and Work, Joy and Praise” is far closer to the New Heavens and the New Earth. Even this very website is a testimony that God has things for us to do in eternity – and I think this includes the stars.

Even on this Earth, if I get a 150+ year lifespan, I have no intention of spending 90 years in retirement. Like the solid majority of those who follow Christ, I expect to work until I die.


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