Saturday, September 20, 2008

Everyone has a Plan for My Life

You might be amazed at the advice that is available for retirees or people heading to that classification. Lita Epstein has written 'Working After Retirement For Dummies' and Amazon has 25 used & new copies available for 33 cents which is all some of us can afford.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy has written the 'Retirement Bible' and there are 17 used & new copies for 45 cents, and Robert C. Carlson has written 'The New Rules of Retirement.'

A couple of titles I love. 'Gringos in Paradise: An American Couple Builds Their Retirement Dream House in a Seaside Village in Mexico' by Barry Golson and 'This Old Man and the Sea: How My Retirement Turned Into a Ten-Year Sail Around the World' by Robert S. Ashton.

Don’t those latter titles open up possibilities?

Just about everyone who has known me expects that I will return to Christian ministry of some formal kind. I have been a public figure with leadership skills, and abilities to write and to speak. I have an obligation to use these it is inferred. Yet the conclusion to which I came several months ago is that I have been released from this responsibility for full-time Christian work. I can recall twenty years ago pontificating about seniors who shut down their service to relax until kingdom come. I believe now that what is important for a man or woman who is following God, is to be listening and to be available. I have given myself one year to be quiet to discern how to spend the next segment of life.

Currently this is what I am hearing and doing. I am painting pictures, have sold some and will sell others. This outlet introduces me to people whom I would otherwise not meet. Being light in one’s community is emitted in subtle ways as well as overt public ways. A local news rag recently interviewed me for an article entitled ‘Pastor to Painter.’ I am painting a picture for a local golf course in exchange for one year’s family golf membership. Golfing with my grandkids may be what God wants me to do. I have completed a children’s novel which someone has promised to publish, the proceeds for which will be dedicated to the care of widows and orphans and feeding the poor. The book espouses family values, respect for parents, faith, love, hope within a fictional presentation. It may affect lives.

As a teenager I memorized John Milton’s ‘On His Blindness’ in which Milton reminded himself that even though his blindness might impair his writing, “they also serve who only stand and wait.” I will also still serve but perhaps in different ways than I have for 40 years.

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