The United States Coast Guard has an official motto and an unofficial motto. The official motto is "semper paratus," which means "always ready." The Coast Guard is always ready to serve whether to aid in battle, security or rescue. They have an unofficial motto. It is "You have to go, but you don't have to come back." This speaks of the commitment of the Coast Guard to go out regardless of the storm or personal risk. It is one thing to say glibly "always ready." Can we say that when we know we may not come back? It was this kind of commitment that energized our missionary heroes. It should energize all who serve the Lord.


J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.