It is just starting to settle into my mind how busy I must have been for the past +40 years … and how good it feels to be wasting time with the realization that those old deadlines and responsibilities will not catch up to me because of it.  Vacations in the past, while providing needed time of refreshment and relaxation, also always included time for preparing and planning (not to mention the interruptions).  Now when I get up in the morning the first pressure question of the day is, “What day is this?”
Take Tuesday as an example.  I woke up at 5:00 a.m. (though this is no longer my routine) and walked/jogged my usual 2.5 miles.  Then I was off to my regularly scheduled 7:00 a.m. appointment to be with our granddaughters.  I had planned to be home sorting through old notes from 9:00 a.m. until Monica returned in the late afternoon.  However, Brooklyn stayed home from school and Monica’s heel is still bothering her, so I stayed around all morning.  After I ran to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for our sick granddaughter, I put in a couple hours on my planned project and returned a little after 3:00 p.m.  The working parents (not to be confused with the retired grandparents) both had long workdays, so it was after 6:00 p.m. by the time we returned home.
In the past this would have been nearly impossible – or, at the very least, quite stressful – for me.  I would have felt as though I was wasting time that needed to be applied elsewhere.  As it was, the day was pure delight.  In essence I really did very little.  But my mere presence was (I believe) a blessing to all.
So, when people ask me if I am enjoying retirement, my answer remains, “Yes.  Very much, thank you.”  And when the follow-up question comes about future ministry plans, my original response still applies, “I expect I will do something when the right time and situation arises.”  However, I am in no rush whatsoever for that time to arrive … because right now I am truly enjoying wasting time every day!
On a slightly different tangent, we have worshipped with at least 9 different congregations since retirement.  This luxury of getting to all these sister congregations that we have never been to before we are finding to be very enjoyable.  Worship styles have been widely varied.  Familiar faces have been seen all around.  And the sermons each clearly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus.  From our perspective, not a one of these experiences would we classify as “wasted time.”
And then there was yesterday.  I worked on staying out of the way (and being available) while Monica cleaned the condo.  With that accomplished, we then ran to the library to pick up a couple novels and then to Kohl’s to use some expiring “Kohl’s Cash”.  Settling down with our books around 3:00 p.m., Monica stated, “This feels like a real ‘retirement day’.”  Within the hour we received a friendly text stating, “Spur of the moment pizza in our back yard now?”  Without wasting any time, we finished our chapters and were headed out for the evening.  Monica’s comment was spot on.
Over this past week at various times, I have been reflecting upon what a blessed life I have been – and continue to be – living.  The phrase “God is good – all the time” certainly fits.  I thoroughly enjoyed my years on ministry at Charity and STL.  To be with people at so many special event in their lives, sharing the comfort, strength, and hope of Jesus … and now to have extra time to be with family and friends – and to really prepare myself for the next phase of the journey … pure blessings.

I guess one could say it this way:  It may feel as though I am wasting time these days, but in reality God is never wasting time in our lives.  He sees every moment and every occurrence as an opportunity to float new blessings to us.  Similarly, he sees every one of those blessings he delivers to us as resources for us to share with those around us.  And that is when peace and joy truly abound.
Psalm 23 reminds us of this – which is one of the reasons why it is so beloved by so many.  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters. (this is not wasting time, because as he does so) He restores my soul”. (Verses 1-3)  And this is not just occasionally, for the promise is clear – “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL the days of my life.” (Verse 6) St. Paul puts it this way:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1.3-4)
I have no idea what today will bring for me – or for you – except that the above promises will continue to hold true.  Your day may be much busier than mine … and even filled with stress.  Mine may provide additional spontaneous activities … and more wasted time.  It does not matter, for we can “rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4.4)  With an attitude like that, there will never really be anything like wasting time in your life.

Wasting Time