April 10, 2019
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When I read the passage for this evening, I didn’t remember who Samuel was, and I was really curious what it was that God asked of him. I read the whole chapter and discovered that Samuel’s mother was barren, but prayed to God for a son. When her prayer was answered, his mother offered him to God by leaving him at the temple to study with the priest, Eli. God spoke to him, he became a prophet and eventually anointed David as the king. During these prayer nights we have focused on Stopping, Looking, and Listening, and God’s calling seems like the next logical step. Having never done a reflection like this before, I thought I was supposed to just focus on verses 1- 10. I tried to focus on how God called out to Samuel three times before he was able to recognize the sound of the Lords voice. I thought about how the story mentions that God didn’t seem to be speaking to anyone recently, and that Samuel didn’t even know the WORD of God yet.
Good thing Eli was around. I could imagine how little Samuel thought he might be going crazy, hearing Eli call him, but then say it wasn’t him. Or, maybe he thought Eli was losing it? It was nice to hear that Eli knew God and was able to help Samuel to hear Him.
OK back to the focus on Calling. I have heard Leif talking about St. Charles’s involvement in C3: Create a Culture of Calling. I hadn’t taken the survey, I didn’t really know what C3 was about = I’m sorry Leif, I wasn’t listening. But When I first hear the word Calling, I think of something specific. I automatically think about how El was called to become a priest, how Steve was called to be a funeral director, or how Jo is called to run the pantry. I read through the explanation of what C3 is, and learned that Gods calling is much more than that.
I grew up here @ St. Charles. I don’t remember much about my spiritual life. I remember learning that God sent Jesus to teach us to be nice to each other. I knew we were supposed to volunteer and do good things, but I don’t so much remember having a relationship with God. I know that I was confirmed, but I don’t remember the classes or even what my confirmation name was. Good Grief. The other night I was talking to my mom about this evening, she told me I’d do fine, I have always been a good writer. I said yes, but I don’t feel like I’m very spiritual. She laughed and said, “you must get that from me. “
Although the survey says to REFLECT on the questions, they look like survey questions, and usually just mark the first response that comes to my mind. Most of my answers were somewhat true. Remember my mind set that I’m not too spiritual. However, As I tried to relate this survey to The Call of Samuel I started writing and finding myself going back to the survey questions to make sure I was really reflecting on them. Back and forth, back and forth. The more I read the survey statements individually, and as a whole, I began to get a better understanding of the Call of God. The survey offers a lot of ways to hear Gods call: Does it give me meaning and purpose? do I feel it in my relationships with people? do I experience it in my talents and interests. I don’t think I ever thought of Gods Call like that. It makes sense though, God is LOVE God is in everyone and everything. I feel like I have a pretty good relationship with the world around me, so I guess I have a pretty good relationship with God. So, maybe I’m a bit spiritual after all. It also made me think that maybe Gods Call is more like something that is there all the time. I think maybe God is talking all of the time and we just need to figure out how to hear Him.
Which brings us to the end of the survey which asks how St. Charles Parish supports God’s calling in people’s lives. Like Samuel was lucky to have Eli, I feel lucky to have St. Charles. We’ve been through several leaders and parishioners come and go but there is always a core of those who strive to hear the Call of God. I think that is what a culture of calling is – a culture that supports individuals in hearing the Word of God. I believe that this parish has the knowledge to teach others to hear the Call of God and I’m glad to have been one that learned here.