Don’t Waste It

Don’t Waste It

My Commanding Officer, a Navy Captain, knowing that I was pastoring a civilian church, ask me if I would go by the Navy Hospital and visit with a longtime friend of his, a retired Chief Corpsman.

Of course I was honored and went at my first opportunity. It was then that I learned that the Chief had been retired since 1946 and had known our Commanding Officer through a family relationship. I also learned on that visit that the Chief had only a few weeks to live his body finally giving up to the disease and treatment of his journey on the Bataan March and three years in a Japanese prison camp. You will remember that more than 5,000 Americans died in that ordeal and those Japanese officers held responsible were found guilty of war crimes and executed after the war.

He talked very little of that time, he said the horror of that event had left him and his memory too marked to dig into that long ago nightmare. Instead he talked of his grandchildren and children, his years spent in the South Carolina low country, fishing, playing golf when his body would let him and visiting old friends who like him had retired in the Beaufort area.

I was too young, too inexperienced, and to sheltered in my life to appreciate all that he shared with me, but I was wise enough to understand that I received far more from the visits from him than he received from me. On our last visit he said as he always did, ‘Son don’t waste your time.’ But this time he said it with tears and a shake in his voice, this time it came almost as an order.

He was right you know, the time is too short for us to waste, to precious, to irreplaceable, we must not waste this time. Spend it, every moment, spend it all.

Ivan

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Published in: on March 8, 2016 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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