Tuesday 7 May 2013

The Story Behind the Song Part 1 - When God Calls Your Name

This has definitely been a season for me. It's been one of great joy but also great challenge. Moving back into youth ministry has felt like putting on a comfortable pair of old pants, only to realize that when you change your pants often the rest of the wardrobe needs to be modified as well. I'm still learning how to balance Sundays where I'm always on... leading worship for the congregation while also teaching a sunday school lesson. I'm still learning how to balance youth events that happen weekly with interruptions to my normal routine that take time that often isn't there, like funerals. I'm still learning how to stop and rest... especially after a week where there is none at all.

One of my ways of coping with the busyness of life (and especially ministry) has been to write songs, sometimes based on scripture, sometimes based purely on emotion, but always detailing a personal cry to God to meet me in the here and now; to be my strength when I have none. As I tell some of these stories about how certain songs have come to be, I am doing so to remind myself of my own personal love for God's gift of music and how it can be used to celebrate, mourn, lament, and to heal. It's been a dry time for me when it comes to music, and if God wills it I think it's time to start writing again....

When God Calls Your Name

Today's story is a simple one. It was 1998 and I was working at Discovery Zone entertaining small children when I got the phone call. My friend Eldon was calling to let me know that our pastors wife had just passed away. It was a complete shock as I didn't know she was unwell. I guess I had never really processed the fact that I had never met her, but in fact she had been unwell for a long time. My reaction was to begin writing a song that evening and I remember sitting in my room just talking through the promises of God in my head, especially the promises regarding eternity and salvation. As the song came together it became a question and answer kind of deal....  When God Calls Your Name, where are you going? Do you know the pain is going to end? Did you take His love and make it part of you? ... 
I can't remember for sure, but I think most of the song was written in one night... 
Here are the lyrics....

When God calls your name, where are you going
When your life here ends, where will you be
Did you take His love and make it part of you
Did you take the gift of eternity

When God calls your name, are you going home
To sit beside Him in His majesty
Will you be kneeling at His throne
Filled with the glory of the Trinity

Did you know the pain is going to end
Did you know the glory will never cease
Do you trust His promise to stay faithful
Will you lay yourself down on your knees


When God calls your name, you can go home
Your debt was paid for long ago
Just take His hand and let Him in
Have faith in the goodness of the Lord

I recorded this song with my old band Fifty Five as part of an unpublished album... 

1 comment:

Meggie said...

Great song, Ben! Thanks for sharing.