Never Safe

Monday, September 23, 2013

When I heard there had been a shooting at the Washington Naval Yard, my first reaction was a selfish one: I was thankful that it didn’t happen at Newport News, Virginia, where my son’s ship—the USS Abraham Lincoln—is in dry dock for refueling and overhauling.

When people hear that John is in the service, they think of danger. When I tell them he is assigned to a ship that is being refurbished and may not even go to sea until his enlistment is up, they think he is safe. But last Monday’s shootings and 9-11 both remind us that death can come at any time and any place.

For me, September 11, 2001 began in a conference room in Chicago waiting for the weekly management meeting to start. As usual, we had a video hook-up with our New York office, located only a few blocks from the World Trade Center. Around 8:00 a.m. Chicago time, the manager of our New York office was called out of the room. When Joe returned to the video conference, he said his building was being evacuated and left abruptly.

At that time I was flying to New York on business every couple of months. My company held two Board meetings a year at Windows on the World at the top of Tower 1, and I sometimes browsed the shops in the concourse. So I could have been there.

Our building in Chicago was close to the Sears Tower, so it was also evacuated. I got home just after noon and sent an e-mail to my family reassuring them that I was not in New York. But it wasn’t until I got a frantic call from my daughter, who was away at college, that I realized I should have used the telephone rather than just sending an e-mail.

Yes, death can come anywhere, at any time. The important thing is to be ready.

But what does it take to be ready?

Romans 10:9 says: “That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, You will be saved.” (NIV)

Faith in Christ is the only way to heaven. Referring to Christ, Acts 4:12 puts it this way: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (NIV)

I feel for the family members and friends of the victims of the Washington shooting and for the family of the shooter. But I am also concerned for the victims themselves. I hope they were ready for death when it came.

No comments:

Post a Comment