Heavenly Father, I thank you for a good night of sleep so that I can live this new day that you have created with energy, joy and enthusiasm. As the Psalmist wrote:
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Thank you for blessing me with a wonderful career at a good organization. I loved my job and the many people over the years that I was blessed to work with. I am convinced that I was doing the work that you had intended for me.
Thank you for blessing us financially, with a pension, 401K, and even a generous severance payment. I’m now enjoying all of the great things that come with retirement – more time with my family, travelling, playing golf, more time to read, not having to get up early and go into the office (especially on cold winter days!), etc. But now that I am retired, I’m not sure what it is you want me to do for you. What is my purpose? There has to be more to retirement than a life of leisure and relaxation. I’m feeling a little selfish about that right now, and almost like I’m doing something wrong.
Although my true and full identity is in Christ, a part of who I was – a leader in my organization – is now gone. Some of my friends have gotten full or part-time jobs. I love spending time with a few of them each week in our Friday morning breakfast Book Club. Some are pursuing passions and taking golf or piano lessons. But some of them, and I as well, are wondering what you want us to do for you. I don’t want to just jump at anything, or volunteer somewhere because that is what is expected of a retiree. No, I want to use my gifts and talents for you. I don’t want to waste my retirement, but want to make a difference and live a life of significance for you. Chasing squirrels and chipmunks from my birdfeeder is not very fulfilling or glorifying.
Might I have another twenty years to serve you? Perhaps, but nobody knows what the future holds. This past week I heard of the death of a man who was a member of the first staff I was on more than 38 years ago. He was kind to me, just out of college, and made me feel welcome. I also saw a lot of people younger than me in our local obituaries. We are not guaranteed the next minute. You could call us home at any time. But I feel that there is so much more to do here for you. The Apostle Paul, seeing this as a “win-win” proposition, struggled with this as well in Philippians 1:23-24:
I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
I want to be faithful. I want to wait on you for what you want me to do for you. You have equipped me well with great experiences and education. My heart’s desire is to use that equipping to serve you. For now, I’ll be faithful, show patience and wait on you.
In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.