There has been at least three instances, truthfully, many more, when I had opportunity to share and did not. Two of those were men who were in Pilot training with me. One washed out and subsequently died in a plane crash on the practice range. The second was a Norwegian pilot with whom I flew my formation check ride. As he and his three friends were leaving after graduation, we were talking briefly in the parking lot as they were loading. I do not remember how the conversation got to this point, but I identified with Christ. One of the men said, “I see that there are some things that we left unsaid.” They left.
On a cross country at Randolph I ran into one of his commanders. He told me that my friend had lost the horizon on a night flight over the North Sea while chasing a Soviet sub. He flew his F-104 into the sea, leaving a wife and child.
The last was a student while I was an instructor. He was not my student, he was in another flight, but he lived a couple of doors down from me in the BOQ. Since I was the ranking officer in that building, I had some responsibility for him. We did not talk much, but some. After he graduated, he too flew his F-4 into the ground, target fixation. His parents were at the base waiting for his return.
Three men with whom I had the opportunity to share the truth of the gospel. Did not. Weapon unfired. It haunts me still.
So, when I heard one of my classmates in college was dying of Pancreatic Cancer, I drove to see him. I did not want another case of an unfired weapon on my mind. He and his wife and I talked for about an hour. I asked how they were doing spiritually and they dismissed the topic with some derision. They were not open at all to hear what I had to say. They ridiculed the notion that I would teach people to study the Bible. It broke my heart. I prayed for him and went home.
Many of my classmates have been or have become believers. They have been praying for him. They have challenged his resistance. By the way he was healed of the cancer. It was a direct answer to prayer. The collected prayers of his classmates. But as far as I know he never acknowledged that.
Today I got word that he fell out of a tree on his farm, breaking his neck. While he is still alive, he apparently was deprived of oxygen for too long, he is paralyzed from C1 down, on life support. They are waiting for his son to arrive before taking him off.
I am saddened. Crushed. But I did fire.
Do not wait. There is no reason to. Rejection is not personal. It is directed at the Lord.