Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY
Business Office: 68 South Swan Street - Albany, NY 12210 - (518) 465-4737
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center: 575 Burton Road - Greenwich, NY 12834 - (518) 692-9550

A Good Case of Nostalgia

by Bishop Dave Bena

I’m writing this article on the beach in Pensacola, Florida. I can’t believe that I arrived here for the first time forty years ago as a Marine flight student. That year, 1966, I met a college kid named Mary Ellen on this same beach, and soon made her my wife. Forty years ago….

When I recently mentioned this fact to a friend, he surprised me by asking, “So did anything happen in those forty years?”

“Well, let‘s see,” I replied. “Marriage, aerial combat, conversion to Christ, three kids, four grandkids, several ordinations, innumerable family crises, all four of our parents and several siblings dead, friends gained and friends lost, military retirement, and many years of fulfilling ministry. Apart from that, not much has happened.”

What’s been happening in your life? You may be in your nineties or in your twenties, but things have happened - lots of things have happened. Let me ask you this: Have you had a sense of God’s presence as all these things were happening? I have noticed that sometimes I am so busy driving through “life’s traffic” that I pay no attention to “life’s scenery” along the way. If we’re not careful, we’ll be so involved in dealing with crises that we’ll miss entirely the beauty God has planned for us.

We grow up and leave home; maybe get married - or not; maybe have kids - or not; build a career - or not; resist getting fired or divorced - or not; deal with serious illness or help our spouse through serious illness; try to educate our kids and still have something left for retirement; care for our elderly parents and watch them die; find extreme loneliness after a spouse, child, or grandchild dies; and then find out we don’t have much time left on this earth. Sound kind of frightening? It does not have to be. Not to say that life is always easy, but it does not have to be a paralyzing experience. That’s where God comes in.

Having studied the Scriptures for many years, I have come to the conclusion that God has a good plan for each one of us. While we will ALL undergo difficult circumstances in life, God wants to walk with us through the joys and the sorrows. Our Father has given us the opportunity for eternal life through the death and resurrection of the Incarnate Jesus; He has given the opportunity to live victoriously in this life through the indwelling of the promised Holy Spirit. Our part is to daily (1) repent of our sin, (2) reply to the love of Jesus by inviting Him into our heart, (3) report for duty as His minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we live into that lifestyle, we find that instead of being bitter, we are better! “The evening may find us weeping, but Joy comes in the morning.”

O.K., so I’ve been meditating on God’s purposes! Vacation’s a good time to do that, or maybe a retreat? Why not spend some time at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center soon? Come for a retreat and meditate on God’s purposes for you. Can you use more joy in your life?

How about starting by meditating on good, old Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised.
Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord,
For you are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.
You prepare a banquet for me, where my enemies can see me.
You welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim.
I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;
And your house will be my home forever.

Surf’s up!

Back to Index

Disciples Making Disciples

Beaver Cross | Christ the King Spiritual Life Center | Donate to the SLC
News | Find A Church | About The Church | Directories | Event Calendar
Find A Cleric | Documents | Our Ministries | Site Map

© 2000 - 2009 Episcopal Diocese of Albany New York, All Rights Reserved
Optimized for Mozilla Firefox 3