Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (NRSV)
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The LORD called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
As a pastor, this has always been one of my favorite narratives in the Bible. Like many pastors, I often get asked, “How did you know that you were called?” Like many pastors, I don’t have a good answer to the question. I just knew. How I wish I had the same opportunity that Samuel did. How I wish I had the opportunity to hear God calling out my name. Yet, as is evidenced by Samuel’s experience, even when God speaks to people in an audible voice, it is not always easy to understand God’s call.
God may or may not be calling you to the pastorate, but there is no doubt that God is calling you to do something. God desires for each of us to be of service to the Kingdom, and God is trying to show you the way that you ought to serve. Sometimes it can be difficult to decipher the will of God from the will of others. Sometimes it can be difficult to decipher the will of God from the will of self.
Thankfully, Samuel had a trustworthy mentor in Eli. We have people who are placed in our lives to help us to find the path that God is calling us to follow. Like Samuel, we must be willing to take assistance from others and be ready to say “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Ever-present God, we thank you for allowing us to serve with and through you. Thank you for guiding us and giving us the ability to make a difference in this world and in the lives of others. Help us to see what you want from us today and every day. Help us to see the path and the people that you place in our lives. Help us to have open hearts and minds that are truly ready to hear and listen when you speak. Amen.
Go with God.