It has been my plan to finish well since giving the University 12 months notice of my intent to take early retirement at the end of August 2014. Glenda and I are leaving our security blankets, we are ready to step out and FROG (Fully Rely On God). We are heading out to seek ways to be in full-time ministry, together.
It isn’t that the University hasn’t provided a me with a mission field, it certainly has. It is a place parched and spiritually thirsty with very few oases of hope.
Having given 12 months notice I had really hoped that with just 16 working days left I would be well on the way to handing over my duties and responsibilities to a successor, but that is not the way it is to be.
Right now, it looks like I will have to walk out the door and leave much hanging, much unfinished. I am so sorry. Sorry for those whom I have worked with over the years, the techs, the customers, the friends: I am sorry for the unfinished projects; I am sorry for the apparent incompetency of the institution. I tried, I really tried!
So, how does this work? Scripture says we need to finish the race and complete the task.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 NIV
In 1991, I had just discovered that I was not in control of the universe, or destiny or even my minuscule part of it. I embarked on a journey seeking a “higher power”, without 12 steps, and in 1993, even before I found that power, yes, even before I was “saved” – that was when God showed up, or maybe that was the first time I was willing to recognize His “showing up”. I was still seeking and He provided me with a job that I wasn’t qualified for, one that He knew would stretch me and challenge me, and yet, one that He had prepared for me or was it prepared me for.
Along the way He has provided me with strength when I needed it; he has equipped me with an inquiring mind and an understanding of where to find the answers; he has given me a memory for peoples names; a passion for understanding science and the principles that He created to help keep things orderly; he has given me compassion to care for others needs; and a pastor’s heart to get to the bottom of the problem and find a way through; the spirit of a teacher wanting to share discoveries, and so much more. I do believe that this is a task and an opportunity that the Lord Jesus gave me.
For the past few months I have been asking God to reveal the unfinished parts at the University, and this is where it gets interesting, it has nothing to do with my job as Manager of the Science Workshop. All of the unfinished parts are people with whom I have not yet shared the gospel, in other words, these are the people that have experienced the gospel message through my actions but have not yet heard the words of hope that Jesus provides. This year I am praying into being “bold”, back in January when New Years Resolutions are made< i received the word bold and I have been working at becoming more bold. I have 16 days left, I have done my best to finish well as a Manager, but God is more concerned about the lost souls that I have yet to speak with…
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2Tim4:7
Ideas for a good retirement sermon are coming together.
Be blessed and be a blessing!!