I have been both quite touched and quite intrigued by your responses to my last post. First of all, please excuse any confusion, but I will reiterate that I am not retiring right now. I believe the ministries that I am involved with are still bearing good fruit, and of course, there is still 15 years left on the mortgage!
However, the statement, "I am going to retire," was made in all seriousness. I really believe that my journey to seminary and then into ministry began with a part-time job with Senior Services here in San Leandro. It was a pleasant job at the community center that was under the umbrella of Parks and Recreation. We were charged with creating events, newsletters, activities, and services for our older population. Some of those we served were fully retired; some worked part-time or did volunteer work Some were in excellent health financially and physically ; others struggled. Again, the work was quite pleasant, but something felt a bit amiss to me. I felt that surely there is more to being an elder than just going down to the senior center to check out what was going on that day.
Honestly, I do not yet have an answer, except perhaps that there is no one answer. Much of my ministry with SpiritCare is a walk among frail elders, and as you know, I find that walk profound. However, somewhere, between the community center and the long term care home, many elders reside, and this is the land to where I am bound, even if I never retire. Regardless, I know I am in the last third of my life.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the tale of the death of Moses. Moses, at the age of 120, still with good vision and strength, climbs up from the plains of Moab to the top of Mount Nebo. There, God shows him the whole land, the deserts, the basins, a city or two, and the Mediterranean Sea. And as Moses casts his eye as far as he can see, God says, "This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I told them, 'I'll give it to your descendants.' I've let you see it, even though you won't be going into it (Deuteronomy 34:1-4)." I think the last third of this life is much like that. A looking forward, a looking back, and learning just to be. We can't do it all; we can't have it all. But we will have enough
because it is God that leads us ever on.
Let us continue this journey together. I find much assurance in your presence.