You Mean I Have to LIVE This Stuff, Too?
I have grown up in the conventional working world, more or less looking (far) forward to the time I could retire. At times, I've even been much less patient about it, than others. And I'm not one of those workaholics that always thought I'd keep working until the day I assumed room temperature.
Well, as of next January 3 or April 4, I'm going to retire. Hit the road. Call it a day. Close out the career.
I work a couple hours a day, maybe 4 days a week, now. Make the same money I always did, pretty much. But I'm ready to put an end to the stress of having a couple hundred clients looking to me to solve insurance problems. The spectre of seeing the weathermen talk about this oncoming storm that's going to .. seemingly .. drown ducks and move trash. And roofs. And then thinking about all my clients and did I do a good job.
We've got the details all planned; we'll sell our company stock, know where it'll be invested, know what the income will likely be, see how the bills will get paid ... all of that. Short of an economic collapse, we'll be fine.
So I'm ready. In fact, on the days I don't go to the office, I sit here thinking "Man .. I could do this!".
The thing that is puzzling is that I feel there may be something else to do. Just a sort of uneasy feeling that I am not just wanting to retire, but that I am supposed to retire. It's strange, and one of the things that provokes thoughts like this is that retirement is all about me. Just me (well, except that Peg will have a lot more husband and a lot less money). For umpteen years, as long as I've been trying to be a real practicing Christian, it hasn't been about me. It's been about Jesus, and serving Him. At the moment, though, I don't have a clue.
So, retirement is .. as of now .. about me. And that's the unusual, perhaps a bit uncomfortable, part. I teach my SS class that it's not about "me", but rather about Jesus and HIS work (not ours). I teach that Romans 8:28 talks about God working for the good of those who are called according to HIS purpose, which speaks to me about crucifying OUR purposes and adopting HIS purposes. And we KNOW God will bring His purposes to pass, without fail.
But retirement is, on its face, about me.
I also teach that Proverbs 3:5&6 tells us we are to recognize God in all our ways. The word used commonly there is "acknowledge" but my Strong's says that means to "ascertain by seeing". Sort of like acknowledging someone I see when I enter a room. And that's a high goal; we SHOULD see God in all our ways. He is just that pervasive in our lives, or wants to be, and we should be able to see Him in what we do. If we can't, then we oughtn't to be doing it.
Of course I have some ideas of stuff I'd like to do after I retire. But I don't want to just think of something to do so I can be doing something. I'd rather have God intervene with a task. Maybe I'll have to dust off "Experiencing God" and keep my eyes peeled. Well, I try to do that anyway.
I'd prefer God be subtle. Sure, He knows how to smack me in the face with a task; He's done that enough times in the past. But I prefer something subtle, so it'll take faith on my part, to follow His leading. I've said to my class so many times that, when you have a decision to make about a course of action, do that which requires the most faith on your part. Guess I have to want that for me, too.
So with the uncertainty of what I'll be doing next year, I now have to go to school on what I've been teaching. Why didn't anybody TELL ME I was supposed to be LISTENING too?
Oh ... right. They did.
Time to walk the talk, or however you say it. Stay tuned.