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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Speak Lord, for Your Servant is Listening....

I've always loved going to church. That's a lie. When I was little I threw multiple kicking and screaming fits as my mother clothed me in multiple floral dresses on Sunday mornings. I hated church. Until I grew up. 

I don't remember the exact moment when church became fun. When it switched from me doing the kicking and screaming on Sunday mornings to mom and dad groaning as we walked out the door. But I do remember being excited. I remember wondering what I was going to learn and when I got into youth, it was what crazy game we were going to play or theme that was going to surround the message. 

I got really good at "doing church." and then I came to college. 

Imagine this. A girl raised in the church who has every opportunity to participate in mischievous activity, doesn't and then goes away to college to "live life." Did your eyes get really wide? Yeah. It was bad. Well, not really. I was telling my best friend the other day some of the things that I did and his respond was, "Your definition of crazy is more mild than my definition of normal." And he's totally right! I was trying way too hard to be a "badass" without actually doing the things that would qualify me actually being a "bad ass."

But I'm not going to talk about all the mistakes that I made tonight. I want to focus on the right now. The reason that I haven't wrote on here in over two months in because I've been participating in other activities. I haven't really been going to church that much unless I was home. Actually, today was one of the first Sundays that I had been to church in Clarksville in a few months. I've been really stubborn about my relationship with God lately. I wasn't having a consistent prayer life and really didn't care. I was all ready to go to seminary one day and the next day I was cussing and screaming. 

Today in church the scripture was about Samuel. Samuel was partially blind hanging out with this teacher in the church. They went to sleep and all of the sudden Samuel heard this voice calling his name. He goes to his teacher and asks him if he called him and the teacher replies with "No, go back to sleep." Well this happens like two more times and his teacher finally realizes that God is talking to Samuel. He tells him the next time that he hears his name to say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." So Samuel does just that and God talks to him! 

Sounds pretty freakin' fantastic, right? God speaking to someone. I started to sit there in church and wonder what that would be like until the preacher man said something. He said, "How many times have you heard God speaking to you, but you didn't think it was actually God so you chose another route?" Of course, in my stubborn state of my mind I wanted to respond with, "God doesn't speak to me" but at that point everything in my life started to make sense. 

I loved church. Youth was some of the best years of my life and I learned so much about God and how to worship Him. It was so easy to open my Bible and read scripture. It was so easy to pray. It was so easy to say no to everything else and just go to church. It was so easy. 

When did I start hating church? When work was involved. And not work like during my internship, because that was the best time I've ever had, but I'm talking about spiritual work. The work that involved me making decisions about what direction I wanted my life to go towards. I thought about the people that are in my life currently and how they have started to shape my perception on life. It was then that I realized that the people that I least expected to be there for me are the ones that support me in making the decisions that are right for me. 

What am I getting at? I've been battling for a really long time about whether I want to go into ministry or not. I have tried to convince myself that I can live a crazy life, but help people and everything be okay, but that's not what God wants me to do. God has been calling my name to go into ministry for a long time and I have been flat out wondering towards other things that I wanted to be calling my name. 

So today was the day. It might not have been a burning bush that God spoke to me through, but it was something. I know I'm not perfect and I've got a lot to figure out, but as of right now I'm taking the next step towards ordained ministry. 

So there's the announcement! This girl is going to be a preacher! 


Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.

One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”

“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.

Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”

Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” 

Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before.

So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” 

So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3: 1-10)