The post that appeared here last week was originally scheduled for a little over a year ago. [Here is that post.] That did not happen, though, because of some “production issues.” A little editing was done in order for what I wrote at that time to be able to be published last week.
Those “production issues” have provided a unique opportunity. They have allowed something that has taken a year to develop to be condensed into only a week.
A year or so ago, when I wrote what was posted only last week, I was writing in anticipation of a new phase in my life. On December 31, 2016, I “retired” from full-time local preaching. On January 1st of this year, I began my second year of this thing called “retirement.”
A little over a year ago, I thought I had some idea about what retirement would be like. Today, I realize that I was wrong. In fact, I realize that I may never know what it is like.
During the past year, I’ve been asked the same question a number of times:
“How’s your retirement going?”
When people ask me that, my stock answer has been to respond by saying one of two things. One of those answers is: “I’m still trying to figure that out.” The other response is: “It’s still a work in progress.”
There are many reasons for those responses. One of them has to do with the fact that I am still serving as an elder and worshiping where I preached for sixteen years. Most people do not retire and stay where they were.
Another reason why I still don’t know much about this thing called “retirement” is that I am still preaching and teaching. Some of that is done locally and some is done in other locations.
“Retirement,” at least for me, has not meant spending the majority of my time traveling and/or spending more time with some hobby. “Retirement” has meant that I am still doing what I did for many years, but on a different schedule.
A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a very good friend of mine. Brother Bill Hensley lacks a little less than three months being twenty years older than me. At age eighty-nine he is still serving a congregation as their “full-time preacher.” I suppose that this is his version of retirement because, for many, many years, he preached full-time and worked long hours at an auto body shop which he owned.
Bill finally stopped working on cars a few years ago when his shop was destroyed by fire. I don’t think that burning church buildings down would stop him from preaching, though. He’d find some venue. I am confident that this is the case because, a number of years ago, he walked into a tavern and, with the permission of the owner (who unplugged the jukebox), preached to the people in the tavern.
As Bill and I were discussing our current roles, he said something that I’m trying to keep in mind:
“Preachers don’t retire. We just readjust.”
As I continue to think about what he said, I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that this is true of all of us. Readjustment is not something that only preachers experience as we go through life. Readjustment is necessary for all of us on a continuing basis due to a variety of factors. Just think of how many readjustments you’ve had to make because of age, geography, family dynamics, economic circumstances, education, health, and employment, etc.
I’ve read that some person and/or some piece of equipment in an airplane must spend a great deal of time “readjusting” in order to keep that plane on course and/or to get it back on course if it ever veers off the course. Without the readjustments, the plane with all of the passengers and cargo would never reach the intended destination.
It is my hope that those who read the material posted by those of us involved in contributing to A Legacy of Faith have heaven as their ultimate goal. If that is the case, I have a question for you:
How’s your readjusting going?
AUTHOR: Jim Faughn