Each of our calls are as unique as we are.
In today’s readings, we hear people called in two distinct ways. Samuel hears God calling for him in a dream. It was his first introduction to God so he was a little confused when he heard God calling out to him. Eventually, on the advice of Eli, he responded: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” In contrast, in the Gospel, we see John identify Jesus to two of his disciples. They followed Jesus first. Jesus noticed and turned and asked them what they were looking for. They responded “Teacher” and Jesus invited them to come with him.
These readings today make me wonder how many times I’ve missed the call God was trying to give me because I was looking for something more direct. Was God calling me to ministry back in high school when I spent most of my free time in the Campus Ministry office? Was God calling me again in college when I relished the times I got to prepare masses in my dorm each Sunday night? There were many signs along the way but it was not until I was 30 years old that I finally connected them.
How often do we want our call to do something in this life to be as clear as Samuel’s literal call from God in the first reading? How often do we want to be able to just walk behind Jesus for awhile until He turns and says “Here’s what you got to do!”?
Often, however, we are called in more subtle ways. There’s something in our heart that just doesn’t leave us alone. There are clear moments of joy and consolation that repeat over and over until we notice them. Sometimes, finding our true call takes decades. Often, even when we find it, it ebbs and flows and changes.
My prayer for all of us this week is that we pay attention to the subtle clues God places in our lives that tell us something about who we are called to be. May we have clarity on our dreams and patience with the time it will take to realize them. May we understand that we are never to old to be called to something new. And may we know God’s voice when we hear it.