Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Persistant Call

In our Old Testament reading on Sunday from 1 Samuel we have the Lord calling Samuel. As you read the story I hope you notice the persistence of the Lord. Over and over the Lord calls out to Samuel and instead he goes to Eli. Finally it is Eli, who is going blind, who "sees" that it is the Lord who is actually calling. How awesome is that? How familiar does that sound?

It starts by noting that the word of the Lord was rare in those days. Sound familiar? I don't know about you, but I haven't noticed any burning bushes or any clear voice of God thundering from the sky lately. What I wouldn't give for an e-mail or even a status update from God. Yet, there is God calling... to Samuel none the less. Unfortunately, he doesn't recognize the voice all so much. It makes me wonder, how often is God calling our name and we simply miss it?

This resonates with me as a pastor as well. Unfortunately, many people want to think that pastors are ones who more in tune with God than others. Yet during my years in seminary I don't recall any one sharing their call story and saying, "So one day I was called by God and next thing you know I was enrolled in classes." In fact, the story was more one of God nagging at them and tugging at their hearts. For most it was a matter of years before they responded. I would say most stories were more stories of finally giving in to God than snapping to action in response to a clear voice.

Thank goodness God is persistent since most of us don't hear all so clearly... not all so unlike Samuel.


Pastor Eric said...

We were talking about this very thing at text study this morning. And what catches as well is the persistence of God. If my wife tries talking to me while I am watching ESPN I often times won't hear her. In those cases she just says "forget it". But God keeps at us until we finally hear.

So many directions to go with this text on Sunday.

pb said...

That is a great way to illustrate the difference... So now, as you point out, my challenge to try and preach only one sermon on Sunday and not the six or seven that want to come out.

~moe~ said...

My dad used to say, "You heard me but were you really Listening?" To him there was a distinct difference. You hear things all the time...varying sounds, background noise, voices...but do we really listen to what is being said, or the sounds being made?

White noise has been such a big thing with all of the electronics and things going on in the world. Sometimes I long for those quieter days when the white noise we'd hear would be the wind or crickets or the flutter of a bird.

Or maybe we just need to stop glossing through life and stop and listen to what is going on around us. We may be amazed at what God is trying to show us.