I have once heard it said, “A day late and a dollar short” but never 22,995 days late. Better bring it into a term we can understand … how about 63 years late? That is still WAY LATE! Well, I know we all have been late on one occasion or another. No matter how punctual you are, there are those times when it just happens. We try our best to be on time or even early, but things happen to cause a delay of some sort. Living in the Metroplex, it may happen more than occasionally. But we should be terribly ashamed if we were 63 years late for something. The “something” would be long over, right? Let me explain.
Yesterday I was in the grocery store and I was at one of the self-checkout stations. Next to me was an elderly man that seemed to be have a bit of a problem. The voice of the self-checkout station kept saying “Please place the item in the checkout area”. I looked over and he was peering into the screen as if he was watching a video. I quietly stepped over to ask if he needed any help. He turned and gently and smiled and with bright eyes said, “No, honey, but thank you.” I apologized for interrupting him and went back to my checkout station. I continued to be much aware of him and what he was doing, though. Then I heard that still, small voice… “Ask him if he is a veteran.” Of course I always try to thank our veterans when I am out and notice that they have a cap on – the elderly folks usually wear a cap that proudly states that they are – but this little gentleman didn’t have one on so I just assumed the little voice knew what it was talking about. As if I really doubted it… I did not. So, I stepped back over to ask the elderly gentleman. “Sir, are you a veteran?” It being Memorial Day, I thought it wouldn’t be too inappropriate. He stood up straight and said, “Well, yes I am.” Then he began to tell me he was in WWII and before he was allowed to sign-up, his mother had to write a letter to the Navy because he was only 17 years old. They didn’t accept young men or women under 18 years of age so she had to say it was OK. I was so mesmerized by his bright smile and eyes, I just listened to his voice as he told me how it was. I stretched out my hand and proudly said, “I just want to say thanks for your service, sir.” He gleamed even brighter. I thought he was going to give me a hug! He then made a sad statement but he did it with a wonderful, glowing smile. He said, “You are the first one that has ever said thanks.” Now I don’t know if he just didn’t remember or if he truly had never been thanked for his service. I would say this man was at least 80 years old. So, if you deduct 17 from 80 you get 63. If truly he had never been thanked, then our appreciation for his service was 22,995 days late … or better understood as 63 years late. I felt so bad and so ashamed that no person had taken the time to say thanks to this elderly gentleman. He was so appreciative and gleamed with such pride.
Now this post may seem to be a day late to you. However, I have said before, that I try not to write anything that I am not led by God’s Spirit to write. I had another post yesterday that was nothing to do with Memorial Day and afterwards, I wondered about it. Now I know… God wanted me to make a point to say… “Don’t be even a day late to say thanks to those men and women that give their all to preserve your freedoms.” God wanted me to make a point by seemingly to be a day late in a Memorial Day post, but in fact, God is always right on time. His timing is impeccable and NEVER LATE!!
I received an email from a friend that forwards devotional emails to me from time to time. This particular one arrived yesterday morning, on time. It was a devotional about Memorial Day. This is the title and information: What We Can Do For Our Country by Dr. Richard Lee, In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional. I have not read this book but I want to include the excerpt from this book that was in my devotional email.
“So this day shall be to you a memorial. — Exodus 12:14 (NKJV)
In honor of the veterans of the Civil War, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who had been wounded three times during that war, said the following in a Memorial Day Address in 1884:
It is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.
The greatest thing I can do for my country, Lord, is to honor You. If I hold You in the highest regard, I will do my civic duty with pleasure. Let me do service to my country and to others with a genuine willingness. Guide me to do those things that will make a difference for You.
In 1 Samuel 24:6, David had a perfect opportunity to kill King Saul — who was, after all, out to kill David. But David acknowledged to his men that the king had been anointed by God and that no one should stretch out his hand against him. Also, in 1 Chronicles 16:22, David credited God with commanding,
Do not touch My anointed ones.
We must hold our leaders in high regard and pray for them every day.
Because David honored and respected King Saul, God honored David, and He will keep that promise to us as well.”
God has anointed our military in some way or another. The leaders of the military and the men and women that serve. We not only should honor them every day but we should never miss a chance to say “THANK YOU for your service to preserve our freedoms.” Don’t wait til they are passed from this earth. Say it now! Say it today!
The Video – The Memorial Day Song