With my retirement about a year away, for Christmas last year my son gave me a retirement countdown timer. Dates were entered and buttons pushed and the countdown began.
Then, about 300 days.
Now about 14.
How does one wrap up nearly 30 years in one place?
I don’t know.
I am trying to figure that out in the midst of it happening.
One of the lessons for me to learn is about letting go.
Some of that letting go is easy.
The endless parade of meetings.
Feeling responsible when the heat does not come on as expected.
Worrying if there is going to be enough money.
Other parts are harder.
The wonderful web of relationships.
The opportunity to be a leader and to influence change.
Being present in those moments in life with and for people about whom I care deeply.
The other letting go is about who I am beyond what I do.
For most of my adult life I have been a pastor.
With that has come deep privileges.
And also constraining expectations.
While they cannot be untangled, nor did I want them to be, pastor more than Paul is who I have been when I walk out my door and into the church or into the deli down the street.
That is about to change.
In a couple weeks, I wonder who I will be
And who I will meet
When I walk down that new street.