Ready Then, Ready Now
While moving my office recently, I came to the music bookshelves – hymnals and song books, collected over the years. There it was – the green-back Broadman Hymnal, and the inscription on the front cover – “West End Baptist Church, Houston, Texas.” Significance? Not only was my father the pastor of this church, but this was the hymn book of my teenage years, from the church that licensed me to the gospel ministry. The corner of two pages were turned down. Not only was one page a hymn that was sung often, it was a personal favorite, whose words would mark my ministry for decades to come. The words of a British hymn, based on 2 Samuel 15:15 (“We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands”), were set to new music by Charlie Tillman, another Baptist PK (Preacher’s Kid). The chorus said, “Ready to go, ready to stay, ready my place to fill; ready for service, lowly or great, ready to do His will.” The hymn was no doubt instrumental in my understanding of God’s call on my life – to spend a lifetime serving, wherever God led. This causes me to wonder what music, currently being sung by today’s teenagers, will mark lives for ministry in years to come.