by Ed Mampel

“For many are called, but few chosen.”

(Matthew 22:14)

One day I got a call to go tell about Jesus.

I didn’t want this call, but how could one talk this Invisible Presence out of it?

I had a nice job, and I lent some support to my mom didn’t I?

“What about my mom LORD? And what about my job?”

I was working as a re-ride operator at Playland Park in San Antonio then. I got no answers to those questions, just “GO.”

Still, I resisted the call for a couple days, for good reason I thot: I didn’t know how to talk to others, nor did I know the Bible that well, being just an at random reader; but I could understand how Jonah musta felt when he was called to go preach to the people of Nineveh. I had no thot of fleeing from God tho.

The Invisible Presence told me I could take my Bible with me and just read verses at random at various homes He would select.

Well this Invisible Presence is a heavy cloud of persuasiveness on you to go do something, till you do it, so I went.

Drizzly, dreary weather; but in going I felt good, relieved.

My first night out I slept in an abandoned truck off on the side of the road leading into Austin.

Then, hitchhiking on in, I read verses from the Bible to people at their homes, one home here, and one home there, and one time somebody called the police on me and they took me to the Salvation Army for the night.

And back at it the next day I was.

Having to eat, I got a job mowing a woman’s lawn with her real old rusty lawn mower which took more time to do,

but I made a couple bucks.

A couple bucks at that time would buy a lot, so I had a loaf of bread and sandwich meat and other goodies in my paper bag,

and a drink.

So I sat down to eat somewhere,

then took the paper bag with me.

“Leave it,” I was told.

“Leave it? Leave it where?” I asked.

Well where I was of course, “On the sidewalk there, just leave it and walk away. And leave your change too.” So I did.

In town, I saw a man on a soapbox preaching Jesus, and I stopped to listen along with other people gathered ’round.

If I woulda been more spiritual, I would have gone with that man preaching Jesus, but instead I turned my back on him

and walked away. [I now regard that as an error.]

After Austin, I was told to go to Fort Worth.

On the highway leading in, me carrying my Bible,

a group of girls in a jeep was calling out that they had sex for sale. I thot, “LORD, You shoulda sent Billy Graham here,

not me.”

No word was given me, on what to do, instantaneously,

so I walked around town some. On some old stately stone bridge, I descended the steps to a flat surface there,

thinking of Hamlet, and even quoted the famous soliloquy,

“To be, or not to be …” my favorite of Shakespeare’s soliloquies, this one, strangely, made me think

of how great life is.

In all of Fort Worth, I only had one person to read to,

a young woman, at her screen door. So I told her God told me to “read a few words to you,” and she shook her head

that that would be fine, and so I read:

“Let not your heart be troubled:
ye believe in God, believe also in Me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions:
If it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again,
and receive you unto Myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
Thomas saith unto Him,
“LORD, we know not whither thou goest,
and how can we know the way?”
Jesus saith unto him,
“I am the way and the truth and the life;
no one cometh unto the Father but by Me.
If ye had known Me,
ye should have known my Father also;
and from henceforth ye know Him,
and have seen Him.” (John 14:1-7)

After I left, I read about how Abraham was tested by God

with his son, Isaac, and felt that my testing period was over.

It was over, so I went home and Mom was glad and so was I, that it was over. And my job awaited me.

Joe Wilson, in charge of running the roller-coaster,

told me it had rained the five days I was gone, so there was no hurry about hiring somebody else.

Considering this episode, I felt like one called, but not chosen;

not that it makes me any less a believer.