Today kids obsess over getting the next Grand Theft Auto game. Or purchasing tickets to see Taylor Swift. Or buying a Tesla Y. The Apple Watch or the newest iteration of the iPhone, the Hello Yellow iPhone 14.
At age 23 for me living in Austin while I attended the University of Texas School of Law, it was something else. It was anticipating getting in the mail my monthly vinyl LP record from the Columbia Record Club. Like three million other subscribers, I was hooked by getting twelve free records for just signing up for the monthly subscription.
I subscribed to the Club at about the same time Dorothy and I purchased a quadraphonic stereo, turntable, receiver and four speakers from the much maligned, bait and switch, Kennedy and Cohen electronics store. All for only $139.
After my law school classes one day, the record album I had been obsessing over for weeks arrived. I tore open the cardboard packaging. Removed the record from the box. Holding the album in my hands, I fixated on the album cover of Carole King Tapestry.
The first song I listened to on the record had these lyrics:
When you’re down and troubled
And you need some lovin’ care
And nothin’, nothin’ is goin’ right,
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night.
You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’
To see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there.
You’ve got a friend.
Every time the pressures of law school got the best of me, I placed the record on the turntable. I set the needle on the record on the soundtrack for the song “You’ve Got a Friend.” I turned up the volume. The world was silenced. Carole King’s crystal-clear soothing voice reassured me that someone in this world would always be there for me. That I always had a friend. That I was and would never be alone.
I have never forgotten the comfort of knowing that within these lyrics were two truths in my faith. First, that God has and will always place in my path (as well as yours) a friend. A friend who will love, accept us, and be there when needed no matter what. A friend who will deliver to us God’s unconditional love. Holy light in the darkness.
Second, that in prayer, seen or unseen, God is always present for you and me. We can depend on that. That God is our best friend forever in addition to our Creator and source of salvation. All we have to do is just call out His name in prayer. God will come running to be with you and me, again and again.
God has spoken in Scripture about calling His name.
………. call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
When he calls to me, I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
Let us pray.
Dear God, when I am in times of trouble, please help me to call Your name in prayer. Calling Your name is a lifelong pursuit in my walk of faith.
God, I thank You for running to me when I call Your name. I thank You for brightening my darkest nights and my dreary days.
God, please help me recognize those You place in my path, those who will not only become my friends. Those who are Your living angels. Messengers of Your love for me. Those who unconditionally love me, befriend me, and shine Your light and grace upon me. Amen.
If you think Jack’s prayer helps you or will help someone you know, please forward it to them. Jack may never make millions selling books or writing prayers, but spreading God’s good news to others is reward enough for him.
Ann Boland, Jack’s Publicist
Always timely Jack. Thank you for being one of God’s angels.