A Time to Grow
The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” – 1 Samuel 3:8-9
There is an endearing story in the Bible about the prophet Samuel. When he was still a young boy, Samuel heard the Lord calling him one night, but he didn’t know it. He thought it was his teacher Eli. So little Samuel goes into Eli and says, “Here I am. Why did you call me?” This happens three times before Eli figures out what’s happening, and gives Samuel some instructions. The fourth time it happens, Samuel is ready. And he responds just like Eli told him, “Speak Lord, for you servant is listening.”
That night changed Samuel’s life forever. When God spoke, he told Samuel all of the things that he would do, including make him the greatest prophet in all of Israel. And yet, although God called out to Samuel over and over again that night, Samuel didn’t really understand him until he knew what to listen for. He had to learn to listen to God. He had to learn how to understand God, how to open himself up to hear what God had in store for his life.
Summer is finally upon us. School is out and the grasses, trees, and flowers are starting to grow again. Summer is a time of great growth. It is a time where God’s creation soaks up the nutrients of Sun, soil, and rain to blossom into verdant and abundant life. I want to encourage you to take some time this summer to grow. Just like Samuel, when he was growing up, needed to take some time to grow in his understanding of God, so must we. From time to time we need to retrain our ears and eyes and hearts to see and hear God working in our world.
This is why I will be leading something I’m calling The Summer Seven. On seven Tuesdays throughout the summer, at 7:00pm, I will be leading an evening of adult discipleship training for the real world. We will worship and work and learn together what it means to be a follower of Christ in our world, and grow together in our ability to see and hear God working in our world. These classes are for adults, which in our parish includes everyone from high schoolers who have completed confirmation to our 100 year old member Anita Anderson, and everybody in-between!
Again, I encourage you, block out Tuesday evenings this summer to grow in the practices of your faith.