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BEACON Senior News

Has God called you to be a pioneer?

Jun 30, 2020 09:31AM ● By Beacon Senior News

Growing up in the ’50s and early ’60s, I had the opportunity to experience the beginning of television. In fact, my dad brought home our first black and white TV when I was about 6.

Western shows like “Gunsmoke,” “The Big Valley,” “Wyatt Earp” and “Rawhide” dominated the early years of television. My favorite was a show called “Cheyenne.” Inspired, my brother and I played cowboys and Indians in the grove of trees behind our house. We made guns and bows and arrows out of sticks, and we used burlap bags to make teepees and hideouts. We meticulously cut down poles from locust trees to form the framework and then used the gunny sacks to cover them.

I realize now that I have always been a pioneer. Pioneers receive the dream, and something in them compels them to go forward and act on it. Pioneers are visionaries. They are courageous. They are aware of the risks, but they go anyway. They scout out the land, blaze the trails and build maps for others to follow. They are the Lewis and Clarks of the world.

In Numbers 13:1-33, the Israelite people were camped along the bank of the Jordan River poised to go into the land that God had promised to give them. Moses sent 12 spies into the land to scout it out. They were tasked to see if the cities were fortified, if the land was fertile and to bring back samples of the fruit.

After 40 days, the 12 spies returned. Two were positive. “We can certainly conquer it,” they said.

But the other 10 spies gave a very different report. “There are giants in the land. Next to them, we felt like grasshoppers!”

Ten people said no to God’s call on their lives. Some weren’t positioned in a place to see the vision. Some ignored the call. Some were afraid to accept God’s call. Still others rejected His call because it would be hard and they didn’t want to leave their comfort zones.

Ten heard the call but didn’t accept it. As a result, those 10—and that generation of Israelites—would wander in the desert for the next 40 years and never be allowed to enter the Promised Land.

But two said, “Yes!” They not only heard, but accepted the call. Consequently, they were the only two allowed to enter the Promised Land many years later.

Some of us are called to be pioneers. Some are called to be settlers. Some end up as both.

During the first half of his life, my father-in-law was a pioneer, planting churches in Alamosa, Durango, Fruita and northern New Mexico. Each of his 11 children were born in different places.

The second half of his life, he was a settler. He moved to Grand Junction and took over a small church someone else had built, and pastored it for 40 years. He was settling on a ministry that someone else had pioneered. He saw their dream and he made it his own.

Has God called you to be a pioneer? A settler?

God has a call for each of us. Learn more about what it is to be a settler in God’s army in next month’s column.