These are two of my 4 younger brothers. Ben, the 2nd born, is in the Army, Ft. Drum NY. Seth, the 3rd born, is in the Marines, 29 Palms CA. All three of us are in the United States Military, and because of this, are very familiar with the term, “Recall.”
This particular Sunday morning, I was fast asleep buried deep in the warmth of my mummy bag atop the mattress I have in my house, here in Yokosuka Japan. I was off work, planning on enjoying the day with coffee, AWANA Olympics practice, and church. My plans however, changed at about 0800.
My phone went off and I woke up to see a number I did not recognize. I answered and listened as one of my boys back on-board the USS George Washington filled me in. We were on a 96-hour tether. Wherever I was, whatever I was doing, I needed to stop, pack my sea bag and be on board in a few hours. I was Recalled.
In foreign ports, we call it “Papa.” A helicopter will fly above the city towing a “Papa” flag and the siren will sound off the Ship. In-port Yokosuka, however, phone calls and duty personnel will ensure everyone gets word.
I groggily rolled out of bed, rubbed my eyes and began traipsing to the office and begin packing. I was depressed. Not so much for my plans that were now ruined for the day. Not so much because I was getting ready to head out and beat up some Middle-East Knuckle-head. I was depressed because of it’s suddenness. “What?” you say, “Aren’t you supposed to be ready for this kind of stuff?” Yes, this is true. Being in the Military really IS a 24-hour occupation. It still goes well against my ‘planner’ side. One thing however, it did make me realize…
Just as my brothers and I could be “Recalled” at literally any moment, wherever in the vast World we may be, each and every one of us could be “Recalled” at any given moment; departing this physical world and asked to ‘give account‘ to the Great Commander in Chief. (1 Peter 4:5) I was racing around, packing, eating everything from the fridge, locking all the windows, (watering the cactus ha ha) and calling local friends with whom I could leave an extra set of keys. But then, I had a few hours before we were to be on-board and officially underway.
Do we have everything ready? Are our affairs and items of business in order? Our wills? Our finances, our keys, our memo’s and ‘last reminders’? And most importantly, our hearts. Do you know where you will be when you are Recalled? What are you waiting for? Any one of us at any given moment might receive a call with an unfamiliar number. I pray we all might recognize Him who will call us Home.
Love you all;