Just about 11 months ago, I retired from full-time ministry. I began the journey in late 1981 and retired in May 2022. Regarding retirement, there were some things we expected, and there have some unexpected things as well. Some things we had figured out beforehand, and many we did not.
What has gone according to plan?
- We have developed a hobby or two.
- We made some new friends.
- We visited with many old friends, some of whom we had not seen in a long time
What has not gone according to plan?
- I am serving as an interim District Superintendent in Wisconsin through the summer. When I finish, I will have filled in nearly eleven months.
- We have discovered that living in places you have not lived before is quite challenging.
- Starting new activities and meeting new people has to be very intentional.
The good thing about this stage of life is you can have a do-over! We realize that being near friends and having activities available are essential for us, and we may need to adjust to accommodate this need.
What I have learned:
- I am enjoying this stage of life
- I am enjoying serving in an interim position
- We love Florida
- We love being in the Midwest in the summer. This is where Susanne and I are from and where we spent most of our life together. We have family and friends throughout that part of the world.
- We look forward to connecting with friends, new and old, this next year.
- We are committed to staying active.
- We want to be a blessing, primarily by staying out of the way.
- We are blessed
I read today from Joshua 14:10-13 The story of Joshua and Caleb. Forty-five years before they brought the minority report back to Moses. While ten of the team said the people in the promised land were giants, we are no match for them. Joshua and Caleb believed their God was bigger than the giants. But as happens, the majority won, so the people wandered for forty years. In his golden years, we pick up the story and the statement of Caleb:
10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance.
I want to show the spirit of Caleb in my golden years. As much as I love this stage of life, I do not want to stagnate and slowly fade away. Life and ministry for me will be different, but I still desire to make an impact for the Lord.