Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Detailing still more
of the joyous discoveries of retirement
One month into retirement I have many joyous
discoveries to report. One of the funniest of these is that so much of our
stuff is still missing – and it doesn’t seem to matter whether we find it or
missing because I expect we will find everything eventually. We still have a
few boxes to be emptied and sorted.
honestly I look at some of these boxes and laugh. Life will go on whether we
unpack these boxes or not. Our lives will not be hampered if the leave the
open a box of old picture frames, for example. Boxed, they can sit in our storage
shed. Opened, we will have to figure out what to do with them, and where to
hang them if we put pictures in them.
another box that smells like some of the chemicals I had when I had a garden. I
gave up gardening seven years ago but I haven’t thrown away the fertilizer and
bug spray. I don’t need it but I can’t or won’t get rid of it. I just keep it
day I claim a small victory over stuff by not opening some boxes. Open it and
the stuff has me by the throat. Leave it alone and I am in control. It feels
good to refuse to allow some of this stuff to force me to find a place for it
in the house.
the tables on me though when I start looking for something I cannot find.
Perhaps the missing item is in one of those boxes I keep ignoring.
sermons, for instance. I have about 50 good sermons that I cannot find, sermon
notes and complete manuscripts of many sermons. Where they are, I don’t know.
These sermons are lost in six or eight boxes of my papers.
preach without them? Sure. But I want to find them nonetheless. I put a lot of
blood, sweat and tears into those sermons and I want them back in my clammy
old sermons are lost presents a theological dilemma. Has God allowed me to lose
them so I will be forced to write new ones? Are they lost so that people will
not have to endure hearing them again?
Did I throw
them out by accident? I discarded tons of papers on the way out of
know. And if I find them, will that mean that God wants me to preach all of
them again? Or will God simply let this
old war horse find them so that I can cling to them like a child clasping his
security blanket? I will settle for that if I have to.
intend to find those sermons. Then I will organize them. This may take a year
or two, but so what? By the time I am 72 I should have everything unpacked and
Then I will
be ready to go somewhere and preach a 50-night revival. Every night I dream
about invitations pouring in and having to hire a bevy of secretaries to handle
all the mail. As Billy Graham slows down, I will be flying all over the world
with a full head of steam.
doesn’t pan out, then perhaps I can find a church where I could spread the pain
of those sermons out over 50 Sundays. I could preach one each Sunday, with two
weeks off for vacation, while the pastor takes a year’s sabbatical.
such a good plan that I hope Dr. Robert Schuler reads this column. He deserves
some time off, and I believe I would enjoy preaching in the Crystal Cathedral
for a year.
another discovery I have made about retirement. There is some time to dream,
even to fantasize.
actually not as much time as you might imagine. My daydreaming gets bumped off
the radar screen constantly by that never-ending “Honey Do” list.
Mom has me looking for our American flag. We have one, somewhere. But last week
I could not find it. So we are planning ahead. Before next July 4th
we will find that dear old flag and unfurl it in our front yard.
the joyous discoveries of retirement!