When the Commander Speaks, Act Immediately – Steve Martin, Love For His People
April 20, 2022 Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
“Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.” Mark 1:18-20, NASU (Emphasis mine)
When I was in 8th grade back in Cedar Falls, Iowa, around 1968 ( a long, long time ago), my wise restaurant boss/owner Russ Rolinger, of Rolinger’s Restaurant, would tell me and the all-boy crew, “When the food is hot, get it out.” Or when he was feeling the pressure of pleasing the customers immediately, hungry for a good meal that they knew was coming, for short he’d yell, “Hot food first!”
He was making a spiritual point even though I am sure he wasn’t thinking along those lines.
His father, Lou Rolinger, a former boxer then in his 80s, would show up at the restaurant on most days. But being he had probably been in the ring too many times and got hit in the head more than one should have, he would sometimes be in our way as we rushed around doing our jobs.
Lou had been a lightweight boxing champion back in the day. He opened the first Rolinger’s restaurant in downtown Waterloo, Iowa in 1937 and then had his son Russ take it over.
Being Russ knew a good worker when he saw one, with me now being at the legal age of 14 for hire, Russ added me to the crew. Iowa permitted that back then. Not sure if they still do today.
This wasn’t very nice of us, but we called Lou, “Old Codger” for he would shuffle around, moving much slower than he once did. Or he would stand at the kitchen/main eating area door, the one we had to walk through to get hot food out to the customers in the booths. Basically, in our way.
Teenagers can, and usually are, not very respective of wiser parents and the older generation. We were teenagers.
By the way, for the younger ones, “codger” in the dictionary means “codg·er /ˈkäjər/noun DEROGATORY•INFORMAL – an elderly man, especially one who is old-fashioned or eccentric. For example: “old codgers always harp on about yesteryear” or “Her father is a feisty old codger.”)
I found the following on the Internet of my first boss Russ, who hired me after my Waterloo Courier paper route delivery days had ended.
Sep 4, 2013 — WATERLOO — Russell R. Rolinger, 77, of Waterloo, died Sunday, Sept. 1, at Windsor Nursing and Rehab Center, from complications of dementia. Rolinger, who took over his family’s namesake restaurant, ran it for a generation, then worked in food service at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. 1935-2013
I worked for Russ for about 2 years, and then went onto a 3rd shift (10 pm – 7 am) job stocking shelves at an Eagle grocery store, just up the street from Hy-Vee where Kurt Warner also stocked shelves a decade or so later. Kurt went on to win a Super Bowl in his days with the Los Angeles Rams. My fame? Having the same name as another of the same name.
Almost a decade later, having moved from Cedar Falls, Iowa to LaSalle/Peru, Illinois at the age of 22, where the Lord set me up to have the beautiful Laura Jean Unzicker walk down the St. John’s Lutheran church aisle at the ready age of 18, to come walk with me from then on, I mailed a letter to Russ.
In the correspondence, I admitted to stealing chocolate shakes, along with the other boys when I went on break. I enclosed $5.00 along with the “admittance of guilt” message. I knew it didn’t cover the full amount, and while I never got a reply from Russ, I had peace that the Lord had me do the right thing.
Now continuing to the full purpose of this message, as I share further the importance of listening and doing what the boss says when the boss says it.
When the Lord gives you something to do, do it. When He gives you something to say, say it.
The Apostle Mark, in writing his gospel version of what Yeshua (Jesus) spoke and did Himself, often used the word “immediately” in his writings.
He had a very good reason for doing that. The Lord wants people to respond when He speaks. And He tells us how and when, if we have committed ourselves to listen.
Too many times we literally sit on what we hear, waiting another day, or year, to get “one more” confirmation before we get up off the couch or our favorite reclining chair and act in obedience. How much gets done when we do that?
When the Army sergeant says, “GO!” you better not look at him and think, “Did you mean now?” Or “Shall I ponder on this for a moment or two?”
When I heard on the news in March 2022 that Israel was finally opening their country to unvaccinated travelers, I knew immediately that the Lord had given me the command to “GO”. Having waited for 2.5 years since our last Ahava Adventures to the promised land of the Jews, in October 2019, and having already endured the great disappointment of 6 canceled flights during that time, I didn’t have to have again an “if or when” word from the Lord. He had already given me that heart’s desire for fulfillment when that breaking news flash came.
(Photo: Keith Green’s album “Jesus Commands Us To Go” – hanging on my garage wall for over a decade.)
I didn’t have to pray anymore about it. I didn’t have to ask others for confirmation if I should go. As Keith Green sang in one of his urgent heart cry songs, “Jesus Commands Us To Go” – I already knew it was time. And I immediately obeyed by purchasing the flight ticket and lodging for the 10 nights and 11 days in Jerusalem.
The Lord hasn’t prepared you and me for decades, making us ready for action, only to keep us seated on the bench when the war comes. When He says, “Now” we must act immediately.
When the warriors prepared for the US Army or IDF are put on the front lines, as is also happening now with the gray-haired generation during these times of multiple spiritual battles, their intensive training, and ours, has already taken place. All the hard-pressed (as in an olive press or winepress) and difficult training we have received, for some of us it has been decades, is now being used by the Lord.
And when the Commander speaks forth, it is time to do it. When He gives the signal, it is our duty to obey immediately.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ” KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16, NASU
We are in battle. All hands are needed on deck. That includes you, so let’s do this together.
In His strength, love, and grace we can do this.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Love For His People founder
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Message #65 – in the year of our Lord 04.20.2022 – “When the Commander Speaks” – Wednesday, 4:15 am in Charlotte, NC USA