In the dining car. A young soldier sits down across from me. I nod and thank him for his service, noting the three stripes on his sleeve. We’re both in “uniform” (camo/clerical). Finishing my meal, I get up to leave. “Blessings on your journey,” he offers. “Hauptgefreiter…,” I note (Petty Officer, Third Class). “I used to be one of those. In the Bundesmarine [German Navy] a long time ago.” He grins. We talk shop for a while. “Today I’m a pastor and missionary.” “Uh-huh.” Not catching the ball I had just tossed him. That’s fine. So I got to keep it simple… “So, what do you think about Ukraine?” I ask. “I don’t think Putin is going to attack. It’s all just posturing to get NATO to grant concessions.” “Could be,” I reply, “but he’s sure sticking his neck out if that’s all he wants to do.” He agrees. “Speaking of Russians, one of my favorite memories was in the North Sea, just north of Denmark… I’m sitting in front of my radar screen on my destroyer. We’re in a naval exercise with about 20 other NATO ships. As always, we’re being tailed by a flotilla of similar size from the Warsaw Pact—mainly Russians and East Germans. Wherever we go, they go. Observing each other, tracking each other. What I remember most was the summer storm that came out of nowhere, whipping up to almost hurricane-strength. Some 40 ships, with state-of-the-art technology and tons of firepower, but we all have to drop anchor and stand down for 24 hours. Armed to the teeth, but we are no match for nature—or God. As powerful as man is, he has his limits. Scripture tells us, “ For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). God is the Creator. We are simply His creatures.” “Hmm, I’ve never looked at it that way. Thanks for telling me that.” “Sure thing. God bless you, Herr Hauptgefreiter.” “God bless you too,” he responds with a smile.