I am Not Samuel: But I’m Someone

Today’s first reading, 1 Samuel 3 3b:10, 19, talks about ‘Samuel’s call.’

That’s the time God called Samuel. Several times. Finally, on call number three, Samuel said “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)

So, what’s that to me? I’m not “young Samuel,” like it says in 1 Samuel 1. I’m not young anyone, and haven’t been for decades. God hasn’t called three times in one night.

And I’m living in 21st century American, not back when Israel was transitioning from judges to having a monarchy; like everyone else. That’s touched on in 1 Samuel 8.

On the other hand, Samuel’s homeland and mine aren’t entirely unlike —

“…the word of the LORD was scarce and vision infrequent.”
(1 Samuel 3:1)

If you’re expecting a rant, relax. This isn’t about politics, the pandemic or why my problems are someone else’s fault.

It is, partly, about paying attention and deciding who I listen to.

Here’s what got me started writing today:

Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermon: “God Is Speaking—But Are We Ready to Listen?”

“God Is Speaking—But Are We Ready to Listen?”
Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermon (January 17, 2021) on YouTube

Paying Attention

'Autumn Yard Work,' Bernard I. Gill.Again, I won’t rant.

And I won’t say something like “thus saith the Lord,” and pronounce judgement upon folks who aren’t like me.

For one thing, I don’t think playing fire and brimstone prophet of doom and gloom do much — if any — good.

But mainly, God hasn’t saithed any such thing to me. And I sure don’t want to try explaining to the our Lord why I thought misrepresenting God was a good idea.

So not ranting strikes me as a good idea.

That’s something I can not do. But deciding to not rant doesn’t necessarily point me toward what I should be doing.

Backing up to what Bishop Barron said, being ready to listen to what God says sounds like a good idea. Problem is, I haven’t had one of those unambiguously visionary experiences.

I could sit on my hands, waiting for God to give me a flashy call to prophecy, prominence and maybe even a syndicated TV show.

I’ve got free will, so I could do that. But I won’t. I think that’d be a bad idea on several levels.

Instead, I figure I’ll keep doing what I have been doing: using skills I came equipped with, which I decided to develop.

Using them. I was going somewhere with that. Right!

Using them to share what I’ve noticed about the wonders and beauty of God’s creation and what we’re learning about them, suggesting that paying attention to this marvelous universe is a good idea. And that paying attention to what God’s been saying is, too.

I’m not Samuel. But I’m someone with talents, and I’m not afraid to use them. 😉

Stuff that’s not entirely unrelated:

About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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