A prayer for retiring, leaving, or winding up a project
2 Timothy 4: 6-8 (NRSVA)
6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Not many of us get a crown on retiring.
There has been a lot in the news over the last year or two about burnout. We’ve seen and heard of examples of people pushing themselves too hard, staying too long in the job, as well as healthier examples of leaders like Jacinda Ardern, knowing when it was time to step down. Ardern often expressed the importance of both kindness and strength, and it is good to see her practising these in her self-care as well as in her politics.
For us too it is important to recognise and accept when a time of departure has come, whether that is time to retire, the end of a project, or a call to go somewhere else. Doing so with a prayer helps us to understand that God can be in our endings as well as our beginnings.
Lord, it’s time, I know
I have poured into this job, this place, this project, all that I could offer.
Whether I am ready or not, for better or for worse, my part in it is finished.
Help me to let go with grace, and words of kindness for those I leave behind,
even the ones I disagreed with.
Bless my successors, whoever they may be, as they do things their own way.
If I am remembered, may it be with affection and good will.
If I am forgotten, my work blended in with that of many others,
grant me still the knowledge that I did some good, to the best of my ability.
This particular race is run.
Take my hand, Lord, as I pass the baton on.