“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.” Col. 1:25
This was what I was commissioned to do when I was called into the church ministry, and I have been doing this for the last twenty-five years. Will the commission ever become obsolete or invalid?
I have been thinking about this for the last year or so, and am still pondering about the issue. In fact, the decision has already been made, I am merely waiting for the approval from the Lord, and the indication of being approved that I am seeking is inner peace, indicating that I have made the right choice.
Retirement isn’t even a Biblical concept, I thought. I can’t imagine the thought ever entered Paul’s mind for, despite his advanced age, he continued to seek new fields to spread the gospel. He was speaking about going to Spain, which might have been rather foreign to him both culturally and linguistically.
To the apostles and other servants of old, retirement from preaching the gospel only meant one thing - the end of their earthly journey, which isn’t really something I have in mind at this point.
Surely retirement from church ministry is by no means cessation from preaching the gospel. Besides, I have become stale and worn out, staying in one place for such a long time, and I might have outstayed my welcome.
“The church does need injection of some new blood. They need young people to minister to young students,” I mentioned to Kathy. I do feel more and more justified to retire at this time.
There was nonetheless a sense of sadness and loss after the decision had been made, as if the Lord was about to replace me with someone else, someone more suitable and capable for the young generation.
“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.”
The commission will remain steady and unchanged when the retirement becomes a reality, for to me the commission has long become a personal identity, which can never be violated, and to turn away from it is akin to nothing but self-betrayal.
If this is really so, retirement is a mere misnomer, because it’s really a recharge of inner batteries, preparing ourselves for a new challenge. I guess I will soon be recharged. I guess I will thus include the word “rechargement” in my aging dictionary.