Thursday, March 11, 2010


This word best describes the overwhelming sensation of spending the last week with my father before he passed into glory and rest with his heavenly Father. A most unexpected departure, yet just what I needed at this time in life:

Sometimes, the unexpected brings about the wind necessary to fill the sails in order to leave the doldrums. While sailors prayed for winds, a stormy gale may be their way out of the zone, or, a light breeze with enough duration to ease their ship into gustier winds. Either way, their ship is on its way out of the doldrums, set upon its course, and heading towards its port.

While I’ve prayed for God to provide the wind necessary to leave the doldrums, and remain on course to finish seminary, I never imagined His plan to do so. On February 27, 2010, my father, Anthony Ben, went home to be with his Lord. His passing has filled every sail to capacity!

Rather than focus on the loss of my father’s presence, I’d like to share about his home-going. Surrounded by his family, we sang hymns, prayed, laughed, cried, and shared the last moments of his life together. After suffering a massive stroke, my father did not regain consciousness, though he lived for one more week as God honored our prayers, and those of many others around the globe, for more time. During that time, we witnessed a peaceful and dignified send off for a man who lived and breathed Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. He lived the life God had called him to, serving as a pastor for over 50 years until he went home. His patience and love allowed all of his children to accept Christ, a legacy of eternal life. Thanks to my father on earth, I know my Father in Heaven.

The Doldrums: Into Peaceful Waters?

The intertropical convergence zone, known as the doldrums, circles the earth near the equator. Crews of sailing ships dreaded these waters because their sails would go slack from the calm air there. Ironically, this zone is also where hurricanes originate due to converging winds and rising air.

I imagine the captains of ships entering this zone had planned ahead for the passage through this zone, thinking of the possibility of calm weather or stormy seas. While their crews looked ahead with uncertainty, the captains implemented contingency plans based on experience.

There are times in our voyage with Christ when we experience the doldrums, times when the winds in our sails cease and we drift. Some may perceive this as a time to sink into despair, while others may perceive this as an opportunity to take stock of present seaworthiness. The latter provides a time of inspection to determine what repairs are to be made, while the former saps needed energy for the journey ahead. Both must trust in their captain to follow the plan no matter the weather while in the doldrums. The ship will eventually pass from the zone and continue the voyage.
With Christ as our Captain, we trust Him to see us through the uncertain zones of life. His plan is the best plan, no matter the weather or point along the voyage. He has a contingency plan for all that life demands and will see us through the calm times and the stormy seas.