Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” vs. 101 Samuel 3:1-5, 10
When Hannah, in her old age, had borne a son, she dedicated him to the Lord, and when the boy Samuel was weaned she brought him to the priest, Eli, and left him to serve in the temple at Shiloh. Each year she would make him a new robe and bring it to him, and he grew and prospered, and ultimately the Lord called him to serve as a prophet to Israel. The story of his call is touching. Asleep in the temple, he hears his name called, and thinks Eli is calling. But Eli hasn’t called, and tells Samuel it was the Lord, and that he should listen. The next time the Lord calls Samuel does listen and goes on to become one of the great leaders of Israel. This pattern has been repeated through the centuries whenever there has been a need or a crisis. People don’t volunteer to become leaders, they are called. It happens again and again among women and men, the young and the old. Often when it’s least expected, we hear our name called. And if we have the insight and the courage to listen we can be drawn into roles that are full of meaning and purpose. The tricky part is discernment. In a world where scams abound it’s hard to know if it’s the Lord who’s calling. At that point, all of us need an Eli!
Thought for the Day: How do I practice discernment?