Further Down the Road: Vol. 3 “The Calling”

Welcome back to “Further Down The Road,” a series of stories crafted for those between the starting line and my road marker. Let’s continue our journey and talk about “The Calling.”

After coming to faith in Jesus on the front porch of that Rocky Mountain cabin, in 1970, the Lord gently spoke His calling into my heart , “I want to give you a new song to sing to the ends of the earth.”

Uncle Sam was also calling young men my age. Fortunately, my number was never called for Vietnam. Clearly, my calling was to be a  “musician-ary” on the front lines of a spiritual war against an unseen enemy that was killing my generation with weapons more powerful than bullets and napalm. Firmly entrenched at the headwaters of the Jesus Movement, I knew this was my life mission with no fall back plan in case this didn’t pan out.

Let me ask you about your calling. Are you clear about who you are in Him and what it is that He created for you? I’m not talking about 10 steps to a better me, but Jesus’ one step plan… “If any man loses his life for my sake he’ll find it.” (Matthew 10:39).

It’s my humble opinion that each of us were created for His purposes and possess gifts beyond our imagination to live that out. That exhilarating script also leads to roads that run out of asphalt, then gravel, then dirt, then what looks like a dead end road where you question if the calling has any further purpose. I’ve seen that view more than once.

One that comes to mind was back in 1985. Lumbering down the Seward Highway, on the way to Homer, Alaska, I was in the final stretch of a mini-tour in America’s last frontier. Foolishly, at 34, and still a high profile Word Records recording artist, I had allowed my declining sales in the marketplace to deceive me. It certainly wasn’t from the lack of ability to change. One listen through the multitude of genres I had traversed in my 11 record discography testified to that. In retrospect, I was a singer/songwriter caught in the transition of an industry that was embracing visual appeal over lyrical substance. VH-1 set the bar.

Riding shotgun in the front seat of the promoter’s car, I couldn’t take my eyes off the ephemeral colors that the sunset was painting on the endless string of volcanos across the Cook Inlet. Detached from his verbal construct, I was permitting the majestic view to induce the thought that this was God’s gracious way of telling me that the sun was setting on my calling.

Not wanting to be rude, I interrupted my ego and asked my driver’s forgiveness for not paying attention. Unconcerned, he said, “No worries … I just wanted you to know that our radio station broadcasts into one third of eastern Russia and up to the ends of the earth at the Arctic Circle. A bunch of folks have called in to say that they were coming down tonight because they met the Lord listening to your music on our station.”

I feigned a smiled and turned my gaze back out the passenger window. Suddenly, my eyes saw a mountain peak with a plume of steam coming out of it.

“Whaaaaaaat’s ..  th … th .. that,” I stuttered. He quickly replied, “That’s St. Augustine. It’s been dormant for a while, but we’ve been having frequent earthquakes so it’s getting ready to erupt again.”

It didn’t take a news flash from their radio station to advise me that the Lord had brought me to the ends of the earth to remind me of His promise. Like St. Augustine, my dormancy was awakened.

Friend, be assured that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6).

Abide in Jesus,

Paul Clark

Rear View Mirror: “who saves us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our own works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.“ (1 Timothy 1:9 ). How has the Father’s calling impacted you?  Discuss.

 

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