For the last couple of months, we have talked about working for many years to raise and take care of a family. Now we are entering or preparing to enter our retirement years. So, what do we do?
When I retired over 3 years ago, I knew I wanted to spend my time pouring my life into other men. My desire for many years was to be involved in ministering to men. Maybe you don’t feel that call on your life. But rest assure that as a child of God, He is calling you to some form of ministry. It may not be what we typically think of as ministry, but God has a plan for your life.
The first thing I would recommend for anyone retiring is to have a period of Sabbath in your life. A time of rest. A time to reflect and seek God on the direction He desires for you. You could actually begin to seek that direction before you retire but you do need to take a period of time to just rest. Do some things around the house you have been wanting to do or maybe take that extended trip you always wanted to take. But use the first few months of your retirement to just rest.
As you approach your retirement and during your time of rest be seeking God asking Him an honest question; “God, what are You calling me to do in retirement?” Maybe it is to volunteer at a local hospital, relief organization, or a particular ministry. God may move you into a position you would have never thought of during your career. Be open to hear from God. Talk to your friends and family on what they see you possibly doing. They may see skills and talents God has gifted you with that you have yet to recognize.
Remember the story of Moses when God told him to return to Egypt to be the leader of the Hebrews. Moses at first did not think he could do this for a number of reasons (Exodus. 3-4). But God gave him a helper in his brother Aaron and God went with him guiding him for the next 40 plus years in leading Israel.
Maybe God wants to use you in developing a ministry. I know of an individual because of their connection with the military began a ministry to encourage the men and women being deployed. Another who started a ministry to help military wives who are left behind with housing maintenance. Another who has a significant impact in prisons, reaching men and preparing them for when they are released.
Men who are pouring their lives into the next generation. Being a living example to the younger generation.
Even while I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me, while I proclaim your power to another generation, your strength to all who are to come. (Psalms 71:18)
Tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the LORD, his might, and the wondrous works he has performed. (Psalm 78:4)
These are just a couple of scriptures that instructs us to pour our lives into the next generation. Either through our children and grandchildren or into others. Paul even told the Thessalonians in his first letter to them that,
We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. (1 Thess. 2:8)
So, as you approach retirement or enter retirement, pray that God would teach you to number your days carefully so that you may develop wisdom in your heart to minister to the next generation (Ps. 90:12).
For more information I recommended Jeff Haanen’s book An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life.
Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike