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God Did Not Call Us to Be Successful

One of the only constant aspects of this old world is… Change. That is not irony; it is history. And it is not our dreaded fate; it is our lot to make of it what we will.

Two weeks ago we speculated, here, about the implausible, if not unthinkable – entrenched Arab leaders resigning and fleeing with their lives. But it has happened, and it might happen yet again. Hundreds of thousands of angry protestors, and their first act (after all-night jubilation on the streets)… was returning to Liberation [Tahrir] Square in Cairo with brooms and garbage bags. Go figure. The predictable, in this new world, is the Unpredictable.

It is the case in America, too, down to the personal level. In a land of plenty, there is want; in the world’s most powerful economy, there is unemployment and insecurity. But the new security is not Insecurity – it does not have to be that way. And it is not a case of deciding to reclaim our personal destiny in the face of so many of life’s new challenges. It is a case of remembering that God is not only in control of our destiny – our careers, our families, our lives – but that He is our destiny. Our destination.

The singer Lynda Randle has said that Jesus should not just be our Savior, but our Lord. Two different things, each requiring a response from us. The first aspect affects our eternal destiny; the second can influence our everyday destiny, day by day, in this old world.

Mother Teresa put it another way: “God has not called us to be successful… He called us to be obedient.”

The songwriter, Charles D. Tillman, popularized great Gospel songs like Old Time Religion, Life’s Railway to Heaven, and I Am a Poor, Wayfaring Stranger. Another of his classics is the song When I Get To the End of the Way, which beautifully reflects the message today. Its words are profound.

Here are the lyrics, after which you can click on below a great version sung by Lynda Randle, sister of Michael Tait (of dcTalk and currently lead singer for The Newsboys).

When I Get To the End Of the Way

The sands have been washed in the footprints
Of the stranger from Galilee’s shore,
And the voice that subdued the rough billows,
Will be heard in Judea no more.
But the path of that lone Galilean,
With joy I will follow today;
And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
When I get to the end of the way.

There are so many hills to climb upward,
I often am longing for rest,
But He who appoints me my pathway
Knows just what is needful and best.
I know in His word He hath promised
That my strength, “it will be as my day”;
And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
When I get to the end of the way.

He loves me too well to forsake me,
Or give me a trial too much;
All His people have been dearly purchased,
And Satan can never claim such.
By and by I shall see Him and praise Him,
In the city of unending day;
And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
When I get to the end of the way.

Rick Marschall is the author of more than 60 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture”) to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children’s books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. For 10 years he has been active in the Christian field, writing devotionals; co-authoring The Secret Revealed with Dr Jim Garlow; and writing a biography of Johann Sebastian Bach for the “Christian Encounters” series to be published by Thomas Nelson (2011). Rick is a former Director of Product Development for Youth Specialties. He is recipient of the 2008 “Christian Writer of the Year” award from the Greater Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, and produces a weekly e-mail devotional, “Monday Morning Music Ministry.” His e-mail address is:

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