For the last couple of weeks, 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 5 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 Sabbath period in your life. A time of rest. A time to reflect and seek God in the direction He desires for you. You could begin to seek that direction before you retire, but you need to take a period of time to rest. Do some things around the house you want 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 hearing from God. Talk to your friends and family about 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 several reasons. You can read about that in 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 started a ministry to help military wives who are left behind with housing maintenance. Still, another who has a significant impact in prisons as he speaks to men and prepares them for when they are released back into society.
Many men in retirement are pouring their lives into the next generation, being a living example to the younger generation. Remember the verse I shared last week from Psalms 71:18.
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.
Or Psalm 78:4,
Tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the LORD, his might, and the wondrous works he has performed.
These are just a couple of scriptures that instruct 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 how to apply Psalm 90:12 in your life to number your days carefully so that you may develop wisdom in your heart to minister to the next generation.
For more information on approaching and entering your retirement, I recommended Jeff Haanen’s book An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life.
I pray these last three articles have helped you to reflect and think through the plans God may have for you in your retirement.
To the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike