There is still ministry in me. There are sermons still in me, and prayers yet unprayed. That is the most difficult part of being a retired minister. When colleagues laid their hands on me in ordination, that was a calling I took seriously. It was a lifelong calling, one that began with a still, small voice urging me to say “yes.”
I still live under that call to ministry, even though I am not actively serving. So I struggle to find my place. I long to once again be buried in acts of ministry. And I wonder what God has in mind for my retirement. Sometimes I even wonder if God remembers my call to ministry.
What does one do when the phone stops ringing? What does one do when invitations to preach or teach stop? These are questions I cannot adequately answer. But I do find solace in the truth that God is still present with me. I find comfort that God still places words in me and that I can share them in my writing.
Still, I envy my colleagues who are immersed in ministry positions. I miss them. I miss the work. I miss the way God worked within me to reach out to persons who needed to hear the Good News. I miss the hymns of praise and the prayers of confession. I miss the aroma of candlelit sanctuaries and the hum of a worshipping congregation.
And so my prayer for this day is “God, teach me how to be retired.”