I have been back from Zimbabwe now for over two months. This has given me time to settle in on my life now that I am retired. To be honest, I haven’t really accomplished that yet but here are some thoughts about where I am at in the process.
Before I went to Africa I wrote a blog about wondering who I am now that was not going to be a pastor any longer. (You can read that here.) That was eight months ago, and I still am not sure I have answered that question. When I left for Africa, I had a new, temporary identity, that of a missionary. But I am back, and while I still have mission plans for the future, that doesn’t really answer the question. So, this retired preacher, pastor, minister, or whatever term I have used, still deals finding myself.
Another thing has been finding my routine. Fortunately, our first several months back in Washington has been filled with family, camps, and other activities which has taken up my time. I still work for the funeral home. As I have been out and about a lot, I have yet settled into any kind of routine. One of the discoveries I have made about myself is that I am a person of routine. I didn’t thing so, and a few years ago I would have questioned if not argued with you about that. Now that I am without one, developing a new one is harder than I imagined. Add to that the unpredictability of the funeral home work, as I am on call several days a week.
I have some goals I am thinking about. There is a doctoral program that I have been seriously considering which will require lots of study. I want to (though I haven’t really done so) want to up my bike riding. I thought about a Seattle to Vancouver BC ride but riding it without a team seemed more challenging than I really wanted. I have a keyboard in my new office and am going to get my mandolin back and practice. But I haven’t started that either. Oh, and when I get bored I eat and that isn’t healthy.
One thing I have done is learn more about the Bible software I own. I always knew I could do more with it, but haven’t taken the time to actually learn it. The software will be a great help to my dissertation (above degree requirement) and general Bible learning. So life hasn’t been a waste.
So bear with me as I navigate this new life that I have created. And don’t think I am second guessing my choices, because I am not. While I wasn’t sure where to sit that first Sunday back at Shelton Christian, it was nice moving back and enjoying worship, dining at the Lord’s Table and not having to worry about all the things I used to keep track while I was responsible. I trust I will figure out the who and the what.