Brandon's Calling

As a child, Brandon knew he had a destiny to fulfill. He just didn’t know what it was. Having a calling on your life at an early age can be hard to deal with. This became more apparent the older he got. He found himself trying different things. Unfortunately, none seemed to satisfy him. He run the gamut of collecting everything under the sun, to joining clubs and organizations. He joined the Boy Scouts, the chess club, the library’s book reading club, etc. You name it and he tried it. Some of them were fun and others were a big mistake. None of them scratched the itch that tormented him. Consequently, he was labeled a “loser” and a “nerd” by almost everyone who knew him. He became very shy and introverted.

As he was walking home from school he heard someone call his name.

“Brandon! Wait up!” came the call.

Stopping, he turned to see who it was. Randy Reynolds, one of his classmates, was trying to catch up with him.

“Hey, Randy, what do you want?” he asked.

“We haven’t talked in a while. I was just wondering if you were ok,“ came the reply.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” he asked.

“Every time I see you you’re by yourself. Thought I’d ask if things were ok.”

“Why do you want to know? Far as I know we’re not friends. Why are you concerned about me?”

“You look like you’re lonely. Is something bothering you?”

Brandon didn’t know how to answer him. Did he dare open up to Randy? Life was hard enough as it was. The thought of spilling his guts to Randy and then him telling everybody terrified him. He felt like he needed to talk to somebody, but was Randy it? He felt like he was going to burst inside and it was driving him crazy. Could he trust him?

“Randy, I don’t know if I can trust you. I’ve been burned too many times by people I thought I could trust.”

“Brandon, I felt I was supposed to talk to you. A voice in my spirit kept goading me, pushing me to approach you, so I obeyed,” came the answer.

The first thought that came to Brandon was, “He’s crazy! Run away as fast as you can!”

Randy saw the look on his face, “Wait a minute and hear me out. What I am going to say is probably going to sound weird to you. I can’t help it. God sent me to you.”

Brandon stared at him in disbelief. He knew a little about God. He had gone to church before and had an idea what God was. In his mind, He was a mystical being that floated around and did nothing. The only time he ever heard God’s name was in a curse.

“What are you talking about? Why would God be interested in me? He’s never done anything for me before.” he defiantly said.

Brandon, God knows what you are going through. He’s had his eye on you from birth. He told me to tell you that He is there to scratch the unscratchable itch you have. All you have to do is ask him.”

Brandon couldn’t believe what he was hearing. How did Randy know about the itch?

How could he possibly know about the restlessness and uncertainty he dealt with every day? How did he know that it was driving him crazy?

“Brandon,” he said, “God has put a calling on your life. There is something He wants you to do. Once you submit to His calling your life will be so much simpler. You will have the peace inside you so desperately want. Brandon, do you want that peace?”

He began to weep. Randy led him to a park bench that was nearby.

“I don’t understand,” wept Brandon.

“I didn’t either when He called me. I had someone help me just as I am supposed to help you. Brandon, the answer is God. He is the only one who can fill the void in your life. He filled mine. I  was miserable just like you. There was something missing, and I couldn’t find it on my own. When I gave my heart to Him I became whole inside. I found happiness.”

“How do I do it? I know nothing about God?”

“He knows that. All He asks is that you come to Him.”

“What do I do?”

“First, you must repent of your sins.”

“Repent of my sins? What does that mean?”

“It means you ask God to forgive you for all the sins you have done. It’s not just lip service, you have to mean it. When He sees that you are sincere, then forgiveness is given. You must ask him into your heart. When He enters you will be changed forever. You become His child and He becomes your Heavenly Father. At that moment you become a Christian. Then He will reveal to you what He wants you to do for Him.”

“Randy, I don’t know about this.”

“I know. You’re scared just like I was. Believe me, the rewards are worth the risk.  Brandon, God loves you, loves you with His whole heart. He wants the best for you. All you have to do is go to Him. He’s waiting for you, he has been ever since you were born.”

Brandon nodded, got up from the bench, and went headed for home. The conversation with Randy kept running through his mind.

“Can I do this?” he thought, “Is it really that simple? What will people think?”

His parents knew something was going on. He was unusually quiet during supper and had asked to be excused from the table before dessert. He went straight to his room and closed the door. His parents looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.

He lie down on his bed, closed his eyes, and listened. Somehow, he hoped he would hear something; a voice, music, anything. When nothing happened he thought about Randy telling him he had to approach God. He was a little afraid and didn’t know what to do. He finally worked up the courage to speak.

“God, I don’t know how to do this. I even feel kind of dumb trying. All I know is I’ve been miserable all my life. I’m supposed to do something and I don’t know what it is. Randy says you know what it is. Do you? I sure would like to know what it is.”

Silence, so silent you could hear a pin drop was all he heard.

“Oh, I forgot. He said I had to repent of my sins. I hope I’m doing this right. God, I am really sorry for all the bad things I have done. I am asking you to forgive me. Please, I really mean it. I’m not fibbing to you. God, will you please change me? Randy says that I must ask you into my heart. I’m not sure what that means but I feel I need you inside me. Please change me and show me what I’m supposed to do.”

As he lay there he began to feel warm and tingly all over. He had never felt anything like it before. It almost felt like he was on fire inside.

Frightened, he asked, “God, is that you?"

It began softly in his spirit. He could hear a small voice speak to him.

“Yes, Brandon, I am here. You asked me to come in and I have done so. Don’t be afraid. I love you. I won’t hurt you. I have forgiven your sins. You are my child and I couldn’t be more pleased. I am here to talk to you.”

Brandon was amazed. He was actually talking to God.

“God, ever since I was little I have known I was supposed to do something. I have tried to figure it out but haven’t had any success. Can you tell me what it is?”

“Yes, my son, I can. I have watched you and waited for you to come to me. I have given you a tender heart. I also have placed a calling on your life. It is up to you whether you accept it or not. Do you think you can do what I ask?"

“I don’t know. What is it you want me to do?”

“In due time, my son, in due time. There are things you must learn first. I want you to go to church with Randy. Learn as much about me as you can. I will be watching. When you are ready I will come to you again.”

The warm feeling left his body and Brandon knew he was alone. He spent most of the night thinking about it.

The next morning he found Randy at school. By the look on his face, Randy knew what had happened.

“You did it! I can tell. I had the same look when I gave my life to God. What did He say?”

“He said I was supposed to go to church with you. I am supposed to learn all I can about him. He will come again when I’m ready.”

“Same thing happened to me. Sunday School starts at 9:30. See you there.”

Brandon nodded yes.

Thus began Brandon’s journey. He never missed a service, read his Bible every day, and learned how to pray. His parents saw such a reversal in his life they began going to church with him. Even the kids at school could see it. He was happy and fun to be around.

One night, as he was praying, he felt the warm sensation again enter his body.

“Yes, God, I know you are here. I am waiting.”

“Brandon, I have watched you grow. I can see your heart. I can feel it calling me. I know you are ready now. Will you work for me? Will you be what I need you to be?” asked God’s still, small voice.

“Yes, God, what is it?”

“Brandon, I am giving you the Ministry of Helps. I believe it is something you can do.”

“Ministry of Helps? I don’t understand.”

“I am opening your eyes so that you can see people in need. It will start slowly and then build. Things like mowing an elderly person’s yard, raking leaves, running errands, the list is endless. If you do it with compassion then the people will see me through you. You are not to charge them for this. If they offer you something that is different. I want what you do to stand out above and beyond what others do. My question is, will you do it? Will you accept the calling?”

“Will this scratch my itch? Will I be at peace?”

“That is not what I asked you. Will you accept this calling?”

Brandon knew he had to accept. Time would tell if it was the answer.

“Yes, Lord, I accept.”

A week later, while mowing Mrs. Jenkin's yard, it came to him. He was happy, happier than he had ever been. The anxiety he had carried before was gone. He stopped the mower, bowed his head, and prayed.

“Thank you, God, for calling me. I understand it now. Thank you for how I feel inside. It feels good. Amen.”

June 3, 2021