The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you,” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
– 1 Samuel 3:4-5
… Today’s readings are beautiful.
A big part of our spiritual journey is to discern God’s Will in our lives — What did He create us for? Why did He equip me with these certain sets of skills? Why am I in the situation that I am in? Why did the Lord place me in this certain position? What am I supposed to do? … and what I found funny and what I can relate to in today’s first reading was that Samuel was wrong 3 times when he heard God calling Him.
A quick flashback, shall we? I am a person who is programmed to move and change constantly. My life experiences and background show you a list of living in 17-18 different houses/apartments/flats/condominiums … whatever you call them, and roughly, excuse my poor memory, I’ve studied in around 13 different schools. My resume tells you that I have jumped from job to job constantly without any of those jobs lasting even 1 year, and my love life tells you … Ooops! No, no. Let’s not go there. But, yes. You get the gist. I am programmed for constant change and immediate change… I take risks. I like to live life with a somewhat unconventional way of thinking (hence I read books like: “Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite”), and often don’t care about what other people might say about me. It has gotten me to where I am so far.
In these past two years however, because I am strongly being rooted into Christ, I am starting to question: Was it really my mindset that got me to where I am? And did I create this destiny with the work of my own hands? I read a title of a book in finance one day that struck me: “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” And I revisited my past experiences and decided that I had to go through a period of unlearning. For me to push forward and grow as a creative person not only in profession but as an individual, I must drop certain learnings to acquire new ones, because the one deep truth I know is that I am not here because I willed it. I am here because God willed it.
Back to the point: I was questioning my status at work, having been promoted, but not wanting it or the responsibility that comes with it, I had doubts. I asked questions. There was very strong resistance. I wanted to leave, not get promoted to manage or stay to build business. I wanted to get my hands dirty again and explore new things. I wanted to be creative, to ‘create’ (as how artists would regularly put it), not lead / teach what I know. “Really Helen, what substance do you have to teach?” I kept asking myself. I questioned whether this resistance was coming from me, or did God plant the seed of my wanting to leave because He had other plans. I was deeply troubled. I sought out God in silence, many times. One great advantage of living 2 hours away from work is that I have a window of 4 hours of quiet time everyday to read the Word of God, meditate on it (Thank you sound isolating earphones), and try to really listen …
The Lord came and stood there, calling out as before: Samuel, Samuel. Samuel answered, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” — 1 Samuel 3:10
That is why I could very much relate to Samuel … During that search for God, I heard Him, but I didn’t realize it was Him. I saw the signs, but I didn’t realize they were the answers that I was seeking. But now, I can confidently say that I am firmly resolved and have distinguished my will from His. As far as discernment goes, I will trust myself enough to know that this is His Will … That I will stay at my current job and accept responsibility.
1Trust Me by relinquishing control into My Hands. Let go, and recognize that I am God. This is My world: I made it and I control it. Yours is a responsive part in the litany of Love. I search among My children for receptivity to Me.
But I also understood what that feeling that made me question His will carried with it. He made this world, He controls it. Mine is only a responsive part in the litany of Love. My response, my love for Him … The seed that was being planted, which I thought at the time was a resistance to responsibility of management was actually a yearning to not forget about my creativity. My response, My creative response to His Call.
“Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will.”
And oh, how I will make such a response.
1 Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (January 11th Devotion)