Hurry Up and Wait
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
“Hurry up and wait.” – William “Bill” Glading
My dad was a World War II vet, having served in the U.S. Army for three years in the South Pacific. Because he saw – and participated in – intense fighting, he never wanted to talk much about his war experience. I know that he was trained at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri and spent weeks aboard a “cattle boat” en route from Washington State to Australia. Entering as a Private First Class, he drove a half-track and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant by the war’s end.
That being said, I know virtually nothing about his actual service in New Guinea, Saipan, or the Philippines. I am guessing that the experiences were simply too traumatic for him to recount. After all, he was only 18-years old when he entered the army, just months removed from high school.
However, I do remember him talking about the bad food – he always claimed that the Navy had better meals – and passing references to dengue fever and jungle rot. He also said that the army’s unofficial motto was, “Hurry up and wait.”
I was reminded of that phrase during the lead up to Hurricane Dorian. For the better part of a week, we along Florida’s Treasure Coast closely monitored the hurricane’s projected path as well as the landfall projections. Watching the Weather Channel kept people informed in real time, but also exhausted them physically, mentally and emotionally.
As I pen these words, we are about to evacuate our home and head to our daughter’s house in nearby Vero Beach. Whereas our manufactured home was built to withstand a CAT 3 storm, Bethany’s house is hurricane-rated, meaning it can survive a CAT 5.
At the moment, we aren’t expecting anything more than tropical storm force winds and some heavy rain bands, totally 3-5 inches or so. Hopefully, I won’t have to rewrite this devotional to update those figures.
But regardless of what Dorian brings – or doesn’t bring – two things are true. First, God is an ever-present help in times of storm (see passage below). And second, I am looking to the eastern skies, listening for the trumpet’s call, and greatly anticipating our Savior’s return (read Matthew 24).
Until then, I guess I will just have to “hurry up and wait”, while keeping my lamp trimmed and filled with oil (see Matthew 25:1-13).
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.” Psalm 46:1-3 (NKJV)
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President