23 Apr 2023
My group of old friends are all literally old. Basically, we are at the age that needs to talk seriously about retirement. We discussed various issues related to retirement – financial preparedness, post-retirement activities, etc. One of the issues was the ability to put down or letting go of the positions once enjoyed. The lost of identity is very real for some of them. Suddenly, one is no longer ‘important’ or ‘wanted.’ Though the discussion was light-hearted, it did bring out some dark aspects of retirement. This is especially so if you are not prepared to let go of your once status and everything that came with it.
There are those who look forward to retirement from the working world. Yet there are those who are not ready to give it up. So, when retirement hits, it is a difficult pill to swallow. The lost of many things – steady income, status, a structured work life (even though one has often complained about it) – is very difficult to face. A sense of lostness, even if you do not acknowledge it, takes over you.
So, many people who had not consciously prepare for this impending retirement scramble to search for meaning. Everything that was once so clear is now fuzzy and unclear. The need for clarity, acceptance and recognition has to be met. How do we go about it is important. Otherwise, we will become a ‘nuisance’ to others without knowing it. We may lie to ourselves that we are trying to help, but they do not want your help. We cause unnecessary troubles for the people that take after us when we do not let go and still try to strive for acceptance and recognition. Such are very prevalent in people holding high ranking positions and full-time pastoral staff in religious institutions.
My friends, the time will come when we have to bow out. The curtains will come down. Prayerfully, we will step down with grace and not “give trouble” to those after us. King David served faithfully in his generation. Likewise, we should do so. Then we step back and enjoy the fruits that we had cultivated while in active service to the Lord.
In Christ’s service,