CLEANING OUT MY DESK by Bishop David Bena
Some of you remember leaving your office for the last time either to retire or to move to a new job. They called it "cleaning out your desk." As you went through the desk, you found things placed there in Ought Seven. As you went through your files, you found the Annual Report you forgot to submit in 2012. As you took the "I love me" plaques and pictures off the wall, you remembered occasions and awards long forgotten. Then you threw everything in boxes (or had people do that for you), stored them in your garage or basement, and wiped your hands of the whole thing.
It's often not the same these days. As I step down from functioning as your Assisting Bishop for CANA East, I don't have a desk to clean out. My office is in my home and I plan to continue using it. My files are on a computer and are easily transferred. Since I don't have an"I love me" wall, I don't need to fuss with any of that. I've always enjoyed traveling light, so I don't have a lot of memorabilia to deal with.
Basically, I will wake up "retired" on my 75th birthday, say my prayers, read the Scriptures and start the day. Some things will change. I won't be visiting parishes anymore. I won't be on a million conference calls each week. I won't be stewing about how St. Smithin's Parish can be more effective or how to help people get along better. I won't be attending the meetings of the Bishops of ACNA. I will have stepped down from various advisory boards and committees.
But some things will not change. I will continue to pray for you all everyday. I will pray for the growth and Christ likeness of CANA East. I will maintain an interest in how things are going for all of you. I will answer your communication should you need a brother's hand from time to time. And I will still be in weekly or daily phone, text, and email contact with Bishop Julian.
I want you to know how wonderful it has been serving as one of your bishops. You are a most gracious diocese, and have always given me respect beyond what I deserve. I have enjoyed serving one of the best bishops in the history of the world, Bishop Julian Dobbs. Please be assured of my prayers for all of you.
For the next few months, I will be concentrating on my health. The mitral valve went well. A pacemaker was inserted. After major surgery, there are many things to do and not do. The cardiologist says that in a couple months I'll be good as new. So that's my prayer. Please pray for me. My heart still has to agree in all its chambers to settle on a good rhythm - They call it a-flutter. And I am briskly walking three or four miles a day except for Sundays, slowly building up enough strength to beat Bishop Julian in a Marathon.
As your former Assisting Bishop, I may not see you as often as before or maybe I won't see you again till we are joined in the Heavenly Banquet Feast. But there is no "Good bye, farewell, Auf weiderseign."