1 Samuel 3:1-10
2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3 the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.4 Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!”[a] and he said, “Here I am!” 5 and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The Lordcalled 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. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”.
Last Sunday, my pastor preached on this scripture: the call of Daniel; and he spoke about how many of us seek a purpose in our lives, look for some kind of meaning a calling…and that got me to thinking about my search and all the places it has taken me!
This search has led me to college, and away from my home in suburban New Jersey to work in New York City, on Wall Street, and then in Publishing…but nothing seemed to feel right.
My search for purpose led me to addiction, but also to recovery; it took me away from the church and then brought me back to the same denomination that I grew up in, and then led me on to Seminary, as this search has given me a passion to read, study, discuss and to write (or try to) about life and faith…to seek a deeper spiritual meaning to my life, and to all life around me.
It led me into several bad relationships, a failed marriage, but also to reconciliation with my ex-wife: not a reuniting but a new direction based on forgiveness and respect as parents of an amazing daughter. This search has also led me to my first healthy relationship based on mutual consideration, love and support, rather than an attempt to ‘save souls’.
And while this search has not led me to any career or financial success, it has brought me to the greatest adventure of my life: being a single parent!!!
For some their search for purpose will lead them to glory, as they are called to be great leaders, preachers, healers, musicians, artist or writers; however most of us are called to a different kind of greatness!
It is a quiet kind of greatness, but no less important or impressive…as we are called to simply live our lives as we share the light of God’s love in all that we do!
We follow this call by treating ourselves and others decently, with love and respect; by striving to be good people in our world: good neighbors, good friends and family members, and to be the best parents we can be to our children!
This is not a greatness filled with fame, accolades or riches; it is greatness that is hard won, earned from mistakes and failure as much as from our successes…as God does not expect us to be perfect (that’s why we were given the gift of forgiveness), but only to be faithful to our call to shine the light of Christ into all the dark corners of our world!
This call to live our lives in faith may not be glamorous, nor is it always easy, but it can be exciting, and offer many opportunities for growth and for learning; and the good news is that we do not follow this call alone…just as we do not raise our children totally alone, but with the love and support of those around us!
This is the call that I have been seeking to discern for so long, but as it turns out I have been too busy looking for it to just stop and listen…just like Samuel who was quick to jump out of bed when he heard God calling but was too busy trying to hear the message that he did not listen! Instead, I am learning to heed the advice that Eli gave to his protégé and just let go and let God! When I can do this I realize that I have not just been searching for my purpose, but living it all these years, learning so much as I have done my best to live my life in faith (both strong and faltering) and sought to raise my daughter in the light of God’s love!
As we follow our call to be single parents, and to share our faith with the world, we have to remember that the journey continues, that our learning never ends…and that we should continue to seek our purpose in life, as we are more than just parents, but people living life on life’s terms, and have many callings in live; and it is through seeking and learning that we grow in the spirit, can follow Christ more nearly, and face the challenges of life…knowing we are not alone, that we walk together in the light of the resurrection…the light that we are called to share with our children and the world!
Let Us Pray:
God, thank you for giving us a purpose in life, and your love in our hearts. Please let us never stop listening for your call so that we can never stop growing in our faith! Help us to face the challenges of our lives as single parents…and as people in this world, knowing that you are walking with us always! Let us follow your call to make God’s love known in our world through all that we do, by treating ourselves and others (like our children) with patience, respect and with love!