We just had our annual meeting at FCBC. Now for you who don’t know what the means here is an explanation. Our board of deacons presents the budget for the year and the membership votes for, against, or abstains. The board works hard at reviewing numbers, costs, and tries to anticipate what will come our way in the new year. Have to say they do a great job! (If interested the budget passed).
Now as part of this process I write briefly about the past twelve months, what I see as positive and negative from my perspective. This time I noted that possibly in three years I will be considering retirement. Not a soul said anything about it after the meeting. But…wow the emails started coming not just from the church family but some from the broader community as well. Here is a brief list, “You can’t go. Can’t believe the deacons would allow it. Why are you abandoning us? You aren’t that old. What will you do with your time? You would miss us. You were the pastor for my daughter’s wedding and presided over my father’s and grandfather’s funerals. You just can’t go. Nope, there is no debate.”
I really appreciate such comments but I’m sure there were others who thought , “Wow about time.” But just didn’t write it out. Yet, honestly we all realize there are realities to life. At some point I will have to go.
For Christmas I got a new pair of Converse. Now I love these shoes! Have ever since I was a kid. Problem is I’m really type A when it comes to keeping them clean. Probably because when young they were expensive and I was expected to care for them. No matter how rough they looked you lived with them until… just maybe you got another pair. So…I work really hard at keeping the white parts white. Every time I wear them out comes the rag and they get a complete cleaning! But heres the thing…no matter how hard I try after a year of life no matter how diligent they start to look a little dingy.
Now I’m not saying I’m looking the worse for wear. But there does come a time when you say, I sure would like a new pair of converse. Ones with new skills, new gifts, a new direction. (You get I’m talking about me and not shoes now right?)
Here is my point. Thank you to all you who wrote and said, “not yet.” The reality is I’m not done quite yet. I still have a race to run but its all about timing, its all about God’s direction. Won’t hang the converse up this time, still have a path to walk with you. But…well you know.
Dear God, when we weary of the journey, strengthen us by your Spirit to imagine new heavens and a new earth. Keep me on the path. Amen.