Take, o take me as I am.
Summon out what I shall be.
Set your seal upon my heart,
And live in me.
from "Take, O Take Me As I Am" by John L. Bell (1995)
Now the boy Samuel was serving the Lord under Eli. The Lord’s word was rare at that time, and visions weren’t widely known. One day Eli, whose eyes had grown so weak he was unable to see, was lying down in his room. God’s lamp hadn’t gone out yet, and Samuel was lying down in the Lord’s temple, where God’s chest was.
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.
1 Samuel 3:1-5
Right from the start, this passage tells us that Samuel was serving the Lord, doing God’s work. We, like Samuel, often begin our journey to follow Christ through service – at camp, with our youth group, or even service hours for school clubs. Service was important to Jesus. We are still called to serve as God’s hands and feet. But, being hands and feet alone is not enough. Samuel, in these verses, never really hears God.
God, as the scriptures reveal, knit us together and gave us talents to help spread God’s love to the corners of the earth. God knows those special talents, those unique callings, that we have. They are a gift to us and point to ways that only we can show up for someone in need.
This is the next step to deepening your relationship with God: listening for God’s instruction and calling, to serve and thrive where only God can lead. Frederick Buechner calls this place “where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” Are you willing to listen?
We begin to love your people, God, by serving them. But, you call us beyond simple obedience. You call me to a life more abundant and free that only comes from finding those unique places where you can use my gifts, my talents, to share your love with this world. Help me to listen, to hear, to know those places and grant me the courage to go and do your will there. Amen.
The Creator of the Cosmos, the one who formed all that was or is or will be, is the same God who breathed breath into you, the one who knit you together, the one who knows you best, and the one who calls you.
Know this gift more deeply today, and share it as freely as you received it: You are called and known.