I am retiring.
On July 1, I will be officially retired. Coming to that decision has been a great adventure. I turn 70 on May 17 and the Crosiers offer the option of retirement at that age. I happily decided to take it. I'd like to share in the next days what retirement means to me.
When I was very young, still a deacon, a layman who experienced my ministry said to me one day, "You are someone who lights fires and leaves them burning." It was a prophetic statement, really, because that has characterized my whole life as a Crosier religious and priest. I have been a creative innovator, lighting fires, and at the same time someone able to "institutionalize" a lot of my inspiration in programs that continue, leaving fires burning.
Between the lighting of fires and leaving them, though, there has been another activity that has absorbed me. I have spent a great deal of my time, energy and talent over the years tending those fires. I see retirement as no longer feeling responsible to do that. That I hand over now to others. There is freedom in this--freedom from and freedom for.
I intend to keep lighting fires and, hopefully, leave them burning. But the hard work of tending them will no longer be my task. I look forward to the new space of retirement in my life.