top of page
  • Doug Tjapkes

There are times when you gotta listen!

I dislike talking about myself. Even worse than that is the experience of visiting with someone who cannot stop talking about himself. BUT, if a personal experience can help someone else in important decision-making, perhaps it’s time to share. My first career was that of a radio broadcaster. I had my first radio program at age 12, and it was love at first sight. The word "radio" is still magical to me. After 29 years, I left the radio business in 1983 and stepped right into a position selling church organs. As an active church musician, it was a natural for me and I loved the work. Nevertheless, there remained that nagging desire to get back to my first love: radio. In the year 2000 I made serious work of it, and found a radio station that I could purchase. All of the details were coming together. I would finally be right back where I belonged! Wrong. Several years earlier I had met a Michigan prisoner named Maurice Carter, serving time for a crime he did not commit. A strong friendship developed. During our side-by-side battles for justice, he began pressuring me to start an organization to help other prisoners in similar circumstances---prisoners with little or no dollars, prisoners with little or no support from family and friends. I kept brushing aside these ideas, as I headed back into the broadcasting industry. Then, abruptly, every door toward radio slammed shut! And just as abruptly, as I grudgingly explored starting some kind of prisoner assistance, every door swung open. 20 years later, it is apparent to me that this is where I belong, right in the midst of all these prisoners. It’s where I was meant to be. My previous careers in broadcasting and music were merely preparation for this one! My favorite theologian, Frederick Buechner, says: ....a person's vocation is a person's calling. It is the work that they are called to in this world, the thing that they are summoned to spend their life doing. We can speak of a person choosing their vocation, but perhaps it is at least as accurate to speak of a vocation's choosing the person, of a call's being given and a person hearing it, or not hearing it. It took a while, but I heard it. My advice to you: Listen!

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

This was a rotten weekend 17 years ago! If you check the calendar, you’ll find that the 2004 and 2021 dates are identical. On Friday, October 22, 2004, my pal Maurice Carter was in the hospital. Up

"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk." --Doug Larson As the host of a daily radio talk show for more than 15 years, I learned some very importan

If you want to really see how God blesses, you’d better pay attention! Example. When we formed a little male chorus called HIS MEN in 1972, we hand-picked 13 guys whom we already knew had good voice

bottom of page