What will you do after retirement? I am beginning to get more questions like this. Maybe it is because I announced it officially on our 48th church anniversary service, and I have talked about this with friends for some time now.
It is not an easy question to answer. It is not easy because I really do not have any plans. And I usually would have some plans. After all, I am Singaporean. Not this time though. I am determined to leave God with a blank page and let Him fill it at His divine pleasure and leisure. When I last thought of quitting, I had a logical plan of what I will do in the next chapter of my life albeit in broad strokes. It is unlike me to have to say, No I have no plans. I am going to give God a blank page, wait on Him, and let Him fill it at His leisure. I will wait patiently on God. “For You alone O Lord my soul waits in silence, from Him is my salvation” (Ps 62.1).
I don’t want to be thought of as irresponsible or over-spiritual or impractical – so heavenly minded that I am of no earthly use. It’s my pride, I suppose. I want to look good, smart and responsible – a good and faithful steward. If I had a sensible and inspiring five year plan to rattle off in an elevator speech – people would think, He really thought it through. He is so thorough. They would envy me. To say, I have no plans except to rest and wait till the Lord add to my empty plate at His leisure, is risky. My church friends and colleagues will say, When are you going to help us? We need you to fill this gap and that gap! This is tough – to be not helping when my help is needed. To even be misunderstood by my own church colleagues and friends, if God is silent for a long time. What if the pages remain blank for months? I don’t want to be forgotten. I don’t want to be seen as unhelpful. Lord help me to say, “No I have no plans”, when people ask me THAT question. Give me Your grace and power.
This is not a retirement rule for all believers but it is for me because God is inviting me to live this way – without a certain and sure plan. It could be called the Abrahamic plan. Maybe for you, a detailed or rough plan is a necessity and that may be His intention for you. Not for me this time round. We are all unique, and are all developing in different areas of our life, and God is moving us towards wholeness in different ways. For me trusting God’s providence with my future, without any visible regular support or ministry plans is what God wants to develop in me. In a pastorate, this was an issue in the beginning – the need for faith for finances. But this has not been the case since my children graduated and went on to have jobs. The acute need for finances has ceased for many years.