𝘚𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 26, 2020
I have always been an eclectic in life. That has resulted in the variety of views I hold, but also in the variety of jobs that I have held. I recall once being introduced by a friend at a conference where I was giving a paper as “a man who has held more different careers than most people dream of in a lifetime.” That was when I was 35. When I was younger, I never considered doing anything for the “rest of my life.” That finally changed when I settled on my life’s work a decade later. From then on, every job I took I intended to be my last. Even though circumstances seemed to get in the way and I never made it more than seven years in any of those positions, the job itself remained the same.
My dad retired when he was 62. He had been having health issues and my parents wanted to pursue their passion of working on the mission field. After two stints in the field in Thailand they finally came home to settle in Wichita. This was followed by serving as an interim minister and then as an associate at a church not far from their home. He also served as the M&M (retirement plan) representative for the region. After leaving the church he was hired by the region as a fund raiser for missions’ work and as a consultant on church growth. After 54 years in ministry as an American Baptist pastor, a denominational leader, and a fund raiser for mission work, he was set to retire December 31, 2010. He died from complications from chemotherapy on Wednesday, November 24, 2010, the day before Thanksgiving. He never did retire.
One of our family sayings is, “You are just like your father.” This is usually told to one of the three boys by their spouse and rarely in a good way. I would say this might also apply to me. I retired at the age of 62 to pursue what we assumed to be a life of travel and world hopping. While health complications put an end to our dream it did result in our move to Arkansas. Now, just like my father, I am again employed and probably will be for quite some time. “For the rest of my life” used to be faced with trepidation. Now it seems more of a challenge.
𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦: Melissa and I have been working through several studies that focus on anti-racism. The content has been challenging and at times disturbing. This was a stated objective at the beginning by one of the authors as the intent was to point out the white supremacy inherent in our world, even in areas where BIPOC predominate. Another challenge we face is once you recognize systemic racism exists, if you do not work for change your apathy supports the problem. This is something you must commit to for the rest of your life. You cannot retire. Change is coming and it starts with you.