THE CLASH AND JOHN WESLEY

1981… The Clash…

Darling, you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I'll be there till the end of time
So you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
[1]

Ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine[2] as one of the top 500 rock songs of all time, it describes the tension of an uncertain relationship. No vow has been made to secure the commitment, so the guy is wondering where he stands with her.

It seems that relationships that last a lifetime require persistence and a mutual willingness to stick with it. Everyone experiences the tides of love; both the ebb and flow of certainty.

Romance is not the only venue for the question, “Should I stay or should I go?” It is a question that haunts job choices, living arrangements and the questions we bring to God.

Sometimes you should let go. Other times, you need to maintain in spite of the apparent contradiction of circumstance.

John Wesley, the great Methodist preacher wrote in his journal:


Sunday A.M., May 5:Preached in St. Anne’s. Asked not to come back.
Sunday P.M., May 5:Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said, "Get out, and stay out!"
Sunday A.M., May 12:Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there either.
Sunday P.M., May 19:Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting, and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday A.M., May 26:Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday A.M., June 2:Preached at the edge of town. Kicked off highway.
Sunday P.M., June 2:Preached in a pasture. Ten thousand came.[3]


He may have concluded from the first rejection that he was not called to preach. He may have concluded it was just a bad day, when the 2nd rejection came. But a whole month of rejection was suddenly met with 10,000 people listening.

John Wesley decided to stay…




[1] Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Written by Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer ©1981

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