Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Better Late Than Never

 Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel like nothing is going right? You wake up late, miss the bus, and forget your papers at home. Then you wait through the never-ending line at lunch only to realize you're a dollar short of being able to afford what you want to eat. So you settle for less. And then to top it all off, as you're walking to your seat you drop your drink all over your shirt... yuck!

I have definitely had my fair share of those days. Days where I just wish I could hit the 'reset' button and try again. Days where I feel like I just keep missing the mark; like it's right in front of me but I just can't quite get it. That happens to all of us. No matter how old or young we are, we all have days - heck, even weeks or months, sometimes, where we just don't feel like we're getting it right. Times when it seems like the only thing left to do is throw your hands up in the air and say, "I give up!"

Historically speaking, people have been missing the mark since the beginning of time. I mean, look at Adam and Eve; separation from the Creator and getting kicked out of the garden of Eden was definitely not on their list, the day they tried out the forbidden fruit. And it wasn't on God's list either. I can just picture God throwing his hands up in the air in frustration and saying, "Seriously?" when he looks down and sees his children disobeying him. It was just one of those days. The first of many.

Take a look at Samuel. His mother, Hannah, had prayed for a son, and when she finally gave birth, she gave him up into the service of the temple. So Samuel grew up serving God with the elderly priest, Eli. The priest had gotten so old that he could no longer see. Samuel was laying down to sleep one night, when he heard a voice. (1 Samuel 3)

The Lord called to Samuel. “I’m here,” he said.

Samuel hurried to Eli and said, “I’m here. You called me?”

“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go lie down.” So he did.

Again the Lord called Samuel, so Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “I’m here. You called me?”

“I didn’t call, my son,” Eli replied. “Go and lie down.”

(Now Samuel didn’t yet know the Lord, and the Lord’s word hadn’t yet been revealed to him.)

A third time the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “I’m here. You called me?”

Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So Eli said to Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down where he’d been.

Then the Lord came and stood there, calling just as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel said, “Speak. Your servant is listening.”

 Samuel was just a young boy. And he had one of those times, where he just couldn't seem to figure out what was going on. The answer was just beyond his reach. But he asked for help. And he listened. And when it comes down to it, what more can we do? Youth and adults both need to listen closely to the direction of the Lord. We can often mistake it for something else, when we keep ourselves too busy. Let's make it our goal, this week, to open ourselves up, through prayer and reading of the Word, that we might hear the voice of God, and do his good will.

- Thomas R. Myers
youTheology Intern

Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Developing Faithful Leaders for a Diverse Church and World Now and in the Future

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