Many years ago while in my early twenties (And, yes, that was many years ago.) and still a young Christian my Air Force buddy, Chris, and I were traveling by train through Great Britain. One particular day we were heading south from Scotland to Wales. Chris sat opposite me reading with his feet resting upon the seat to my left, as I sat gazing out the window with my feet resting on the seat to his left.
It was a November morning. Sheep grazed upon the lush rolling hillsides as the train rumbled past some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet Earth. Off in the distance sunlight and rain shower conspired to create a rainbow. I sat there transfixed to the wonder before me, unable to turn away from what I perceived to be a great blessing. It truly was a beautiful sight!
In a split second, without a warning, the glory before me was suddenly thrust into complete darkness as we entered a tunnel. Gone! Yet it occurred to me that I shouldn’t move my eyes. My gaze remained glued to the same spot as it was the moment before we entered the darkness. Don’t turn away from what I have seen, I said to myself. And from deep within my conscience I “heard” a voice say to me, “This is how I want you to live your life.” It remains one of the very few times in my life I believe I actually heard the Lord speak to me.
Moments later, just as suddenly as it was gone, it all reappeared as the train emerged from the tunnel. The hills, the sheep, the rainbow; it all returned. And I frequently recall those words He spoke to me in the dark.
“This is how I want you to live your life.”
In every Christian’s life comes a time when we must move forward in the darkness, trusting that the vision we once beheld, or the work we feel called to, will one day become reality. We surely do walk by faith, not by sight. And what is faith other than simply believing God and the promises He has made to us?
Assuming that you are convinced of your calling, that is to say, you know that you know that you know how the Lord wants you to spend your life and where to devote your talents and energies, then continue on as you believe you are being led. Are you tasked to act? Then keep auditioning. To write? Keep writing. Direct? Produce? Design? Then with discernment take advantage of every good opportunity presented to you. But it’s not going so well right now? Be patient. Just because you may be having a tough time does not mean you are going in the wrong direction. Tunnels tend to be dark.
“…what the righteous desire will be granted.” Proverbs 10.24
Charles Lindbergh was a quiet, introspective man. (Much like myself, but taller.) How much uncertainty there was leading up to his flight to Paris! Several others had died attempting the same flight, yet he knew it was his destiny and he persevered. His youth and his perceived inexperience did not sway him. He lived his dream, while others merely dreamed. Mr. Lindbergh said, “We actually live today in our dreams of yesterday, and in living those dreams we dream again.” He was a man with a passionate vision and determined perseverance. That’s how I want to be.
“…the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 13.4
I am not your conscience. I’m just your coach. Only you know what the Lord has asked of you. Only you know the deepest desires which grow in your heart and whether or not those desires were planted by your Maker. When you know that you know that you know what your life’s calling is, keep at it. Never give up. Forget the economy. Forget what your agent said. Never mind the naysayers in your life. What has God asked of you? What He has asked of you He will fulfill. This He has promised.
See you on the set!
By Jake Gentry, former associate director of HPN San Francisco