Listening (Or Not)

Listening (Or Not)

Have you ever gotten caught not listening? I have, especially as a child (Okay, yeah as an adult, too!)

I can recall so vividly being a kid and getting to sucked in to a television show that I unintentionally tuned out the entire world. And, of course, my mom would start calling for me: “Jason. … Jason? … JASON?!?!” And I never heard her. I was completely oblivious.

It’s not that she was calling too softly. By the third or fourth time she was practically yelling and the whole house could hear her. It’s not that I didn’t want to answer. It’s not that I was avoiding her. It’s not that I didn’t care enough to pay attention. None of that. It’s simply that I was in a different mental place…tuned in to the world of a television show and tuned out to the world around me.

The truth is I simply wasn’t listening…not to my mother, not to anything around me except the television. Now, if mom had some way of popping herself (or even just her voice) into the script of the television show, I would most definitely have heard her because I was listening very intently to the show.

Sometimes we get caught not listening…or listening so intently to one thing that we miss every other thing. And this is exactly where Samuel finds himself in a story I would like you to read today. It’s found in 1 Samuel 3:1-20. (Click the link to read it)

Samuel heard a voice. So he was listening. But he was so focused in on his teacher and mentor Eli that he was completely unaware of who was really calling to him. His ears were open but his mind was focused in one place and so he kept missing what we really happening around him. That is, he completely missed that it was God calling to him, not Eli.

Fortunately, Eli realized what was happening and redirected Samuel’s focus. My mom would often have to do the same thing to me. She would come in the room and clap her hands or snap her fingers or even stand right in front of me forcing me to redirect my focus to her voice.

We all need to have our attention redirected sometimes. Maybe an desire or hope has us too focused on one thing that we miss something else amazing. Maybe a fear or anxiety has our attention and we miss really great experiences. Maybe we in a really joyful place in life and we miss opportunities to help others. Or maybe we are in a really bad place in life and we cannot even see the good things around us.

Whatever it is, there are times when you need someone to stand in front of you, snap their fingers, and say to you what Eli said to Samuel:

Go, lie down, and pray, “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.”

Today, I pray that you, like Samuel, will heed Eli’s instructions and realize that God is calling to you from every corner of your life.

If You Missed Sunday’s Sermon…

Read or listen to Baptism: Turning Towards Ministry – Mark 1:4-11

God’s Words for This Week

1 Samuel 3:1-20 – Then the Lord came and stood there, calling just as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel said, “Speak. Your servant is listening.” (CEB, v.10)

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18 -O Lord, you have searched me and known me. … Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. (NRSV, v.1 & 6)

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. (NIV, v.12a)

John 1:43-51 – Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (NRSV, v.46)

This Week at Hood

Wednesday, January 10, 6:45 pm – Choir Practice
Wednesday, January 10, 6:00 pm – Young-ish Adult Small Group
Thursday, January 11, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Pastor Jason at The Cellar for Drop-In Coffee & Conversation (108 N Wilson St)
Sunday, January 14, 9:15 am – Men’s Group Breakfast at Cracker Barrell
Sunday, January 14, 11:00 am – Worship
Sunday, January 14, 12:15 pm – 2:30 pm – Elder & Deacon Training
Sunday, January 14, 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Church Board Meeting


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