Pastor’s Blog

Mondays with Pete

July 20, 2020

Good morning;

Another birthday slipped by the calendar on Friday.  I have found that birthdays have a different impact each year.  This year the birthday signals “only a week or so left before retirement. It is my experience that it has not so much to do with the number attached to birthday as it does with what is going on in my life when the birthday rolls around.  Birthdays, for me, are always an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to look forward into the years that lie ahead.  As I now push my way just past halfway through my 60’s and retirement, this reflection time has taken on some seriousness for me this year.   

Much is being made of “Bucket Lists” (things I want to do before I kick the bucket) these days.  It is not until you are unexpectedly close to kicking the bucket yourself that this exercise takes on a different slant.  I scanned an old Bucket List and saw trips and some material things.  I would keep some of those on my list, but priorities have changed.  Family, retirement and getting out from under the stress that is the Pastor’s life have moved to the top of the list.  What am I going to do to stay out of Kay’s way when I retire?  I think she is asking that question also.  How will I continue to serve God and the community in which we live?  What will become important in coming months?

But alas, bucket lists are usually about us and want we want. But, that’s true for most of our lives.  It is all about us especially when retirement gets close or becomes a reality. “Now I get to do what I want to do.  No more living for the job.  NOW ITS MY TURN.”  Those I have seen enjoying retirement the most are those who have some way of serving, whether that be through an expanded role in the church, or in community organizations, or even being more available for family. 

Perhaps we all need a “serving list” instead of a bucket list.  How will I be able to serve God and others until God asks me to come home?  Yes, but the travel and material things on our bucket list will be great too.  They will be our reward for living a fruitful life as long as we keep them in perspective.  Oh boy, getting a little philosophical on this birthday.  Better go get a piece of cake and come back to reality.

Then I opened my Bible this morning “randomly” (yea right) to 1 Peter 5: 1-10.  Another Bucket List?  HMMMM!

“To the Elders and the Flock

 1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”[a]  6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

OK, GOD. I get it.  At least today anyway.  Lord, as I slip into retirement if it is Your will, the “Bucket list,” oh, excuse me, “service list” will be taken care of in Your time and in Your way, not mine. Thanks for another birthday.  Amen.

P.S.  This will be last Mondays with Pete for a few weeks.  I hope to pick them up in the middle of August.  God Bless all of You.

Translate »