All Hands On Deck

[This is a piece that I co-authored with my very dear friend, Ed Kruger who has gone home to be with the Lord – I praise the Lord for Ed’s example and heart for the Lord!]

June 1945. A beautiful clear, moonlit night. Our small task-force consisting of three 1 Fletcher class, WWII destroyers was making its way due north off the east of Okinawa. We had just secured from “general quarters” and the orange-red full moon barely peaking over the edge of the horizon signaled the onset of a brilliant South Pacific evening.  My shipmate and I had just commented on how good it was to see no signs of enemy aircraft, or “bogies”.  Our placid demeanor changed abruptly as suddenly two bogies appeared high in the sky out of nowhere.  The general alarm was sounded, calling all hands to their battle stations. Seconds later while at my own assigned location I was redirected by the bridge to man the phone at the anchor windless. Little did I understand at the time, the importance of this assignment, nor the reason this post was vacated by the responsible party.  

The strategy was to join alongside the other vessels in sync laying a smokescreen some quarter-mile long into which we could find cover. Upon reversing the engines back into the smoke, I received a muttled, unintelligible command. I attempted to clarify the order but to no avail, as I had not been trained in the verbal idiosyncrasies of this position.  It had apparently been an order to prepare to “drop anchor” so that we would be protected in the midst of the smoke. As it had not been effectively communicated, we found ourselves drifting back through our safe haven only to find ourselves anchored in the shallow water…sitting ducks. We were again exposed to the enemy who proceeded to dive at us.

Because the communication was poor, and the trained individual was not at his post, we subjected ourselves to grave consequences. Fortunately, Gods’ grace was with the Callaghan, and doom was averted.

In the Bible, Paul has spoken of the need for Christians to be at their posts. Yet, how often have we seen members in the Church, the body Christ, absent from their appointed position? As a result someone else has to assume their responsibilities, thus neglecting their own. God has designed the “crew” to be at their positions, exercising their God-given gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 affirms, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

He has already given us His best in His Son.  In return we want to offer God the very best we have, and by His Spirit He has given us the means to do so. If we are not doing that, we may be compromising the body of Christ, or the work of Christ. The questions need to be asked, “Are you using your gift?” “Are you listening to God?” “Are you carrying out your appointed mission?”

Look around, the battle is on. The enemy is poised for attack and God is calling All Hands on Deck.

Man your battle station.