Day one of my retirement—written in 2015
Praise you, Lord, for this, the first real day of my retirement from official ministry. It is the dawning of a new era, like in the picture here.
At this point it is primarily a financial change, as I plan to keep on doing all the things I did before (teaching, counseling, writing, and traveling to speak as opportunities come), I just won’t get paid for them! So, this will be a financial adventure, too, seeing how you, Lord, provide beyond social security. One thing we know for sure is that the Lord is our Shepherd and therefore we will not want.
A second way that retirement will change me is in attitude. I now feel free to do spontaneous things, like going out to breakfast with the guys after men’s prayer meeting on Friday mornings. I don’t want to become less disciplined in how I use the time left, but want to be less focused on work and more on people.
This retirement coincides with my turning 70 this year. In the past, I’ve found that decadal milestones often bring changes in focus and responsibilities. I expect this to be a bigger one than previous “big O” years.
Hebrews 12:1-17 is my map. It certainly is a pleasure to walk with Jesus into the future, knowing that He has the course laid out for us, calling us to join Him in the adventure that is the rest of our lives. I want to obey His command to lay aside every weight and sin that can so easily entangle, and to run with patience and perseverance the race He has set out before me.
This will require patience, for as we move into the future, I’m going to be losing things: strength, endurance, hearing and other physical abilities. Truly, old age is the process of losing things, but maturity is letting them go and using these losses to focus on what God has for us. I suspect that worship and intercessory prayer will become a primary focus, with discipleship and counseling being the second.
Whatever it is, I can take my cue from Jesus, fixing my eyes on Him who, “for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross (for me that’s old age), despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Truly, to know Him is to have hope, to have peace and joy as we trust in Him, so we can move into the future with His presence, provision and protection. I look forward to living this out on a new level!