You reach a stage of life…
In many ways I know the answer to be clearly known. I can identify all my components, interests, demographics, desires, hopes, dreams… I know where I am, where I came from, and I know where I want to go next.
But the older I get I cannot help but look over my shoulder to see where I’ve come from, analyze the present, and then only wonder about the future.
The question has nothing to do with my personal identity. Rather, it has more to do with determining the future. I wanted to complete my doctorate, but ran out of money. I want to travel to some desired global locations, but, there’s not enough money. There is a glimpse of retirement, and money will not be the issue, but a question is, “What do I do in retirement?”
I remember going to my dad’s retirement event in 1985. He was younger than I am today. The president of the company told the retiree’s to do something with their time, else 20% of them will dead in a year. Volunteer. Travel. Get a job. Anything to occupy your time and not become a couch potato.
So. I need to figure out what the future will look like so I can enjoy the time, and properly spend the time into a long retired future. Hence. The question. Who am I?
When I was 12 I knew ministry played a role in my life, only there was no clue as to what that looked like. In high school, we took tests (pre-SAT of some form) and it warned me to stay out of anything to do with math, so, I started working around computers where math was a huge requirement. Ha! Reading is a favorite past time, so I know the blog and a future book is the result of all that input over the years.
In a younger time, trips to the library kept me incessantly focused on books for young readers about historical figures. Where they came from, what they are known for, and where in history do we find them. It was glorious reading. Over and over, I never hesitated to read these books all the way through their numbered sequences. They were sort of Hardy Boy style, but they did an adequate job of painting images of life as it must have been.
This gave me pause to wonder if their life was ever as planned out as we want our life to be. They faced huge challenges of conquering a world and it seemed like problems came out of the blue … and there they were, standing up in the boldest of ways with no thought about what life would look like at the end.
Consider Moses. Born in a time of slavery. Challenged to simply be alive at a very young age. Let loose into the river. Saved by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in the house of privilege while being cared for by his natural mom. Fled when he identified with the slaves, came to full maturity on the back side of adult living, and then challenged to lead God’s people out of Egypt and to the promised land.
Can you imagine him trying to assess who he was, and where he was going?
For 120 years he lived and served God to the best of his ability. He was shown the promised land, but he was not allowed to enter in.
So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended. (Deuteronomy 34:5-8 NKJV)
120 years and his eyes were not dim, nor was his natural vigor diminished. I can just see him looking into the promised land, ready to take on a new challenge. If God had allowed him entrance, then he would have led Israel home. But it was time for the next generation to take over. Joshua.
And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. (Deuteronomy 34:9 KJV)
This is the way I want to experience it. When it is my time to step back, I want to see the next generation take on all the challenges and lead us forward. That is when I will know that I am allowed to step back. Retire. Relax into old age. Enjoy my family. Enjoy the remainder of life.
That’s who I am…