Thursday, April 26, 2012

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.

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