This Sunday's readings are PERFECT timing for us. I'm not sure about you, but I set New Year's Resolutions for myself but usually mull it over until the second week or so of January before I even decide what I am working towards! When reading the first reading, my heart smiled. Of course this is what I need to work on... LISTENING and following His will. Every second of every day.
Where to start... You DONT have to be a saint to be able to hear God either. It truly doesn’t matter how close or how far away you are from Him. For example, Samuel in our first reading, “was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.” Samuel didn't even recognize God's voice. Perhaps he didn’t know his purpose. But he surrounded himself with good people who did know God (Eli) and Eli told Samuel that GOD was calling him! Do we surround ourselves with faithful people who know God?
After talking to Eli, Samuel listened to the Lord and here’s the most important thing: He told God he was listening. God speaks to us regularly, but do we listen. Do we try? Maybe we think that God’s plan for us will make us unhappy, like that he wants us to pray all day or something. Sounds pretty boring right? Maybe he didn’t make your heart for that. Maybe he made your heart to meet new people and love them for who they are. Maybe he made your heart to encourage and support others quietly, through loyalty and devotion. Maybe he made your heart to teach others about beauty in the world.
You see, each new year people take a step back and re-aligned their lives according to what they think is important: losing weight, eating right, not wasting (as much) time on snap chat, not gossiping, etc. But what if we re-aligned our lives according to what GOD calls us to, to what HE thinks is important.
Here’s the surprise, though. God created us and therefore KNOWS what will fulfill us and make us happy. The Psalm for Sunday says, “to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!" You see, when we are good, we are free-we are happy, joyful, even. But when we make something else more important than God and his will for us, we become distracted. When we are distracted, we float from thing to thing, searching for fulfillment and purpose, and always come up empty.
In the Gospel today, I think some disciples were searching for this peace, this fulfillment, this truth. And when they met Jesus, they asked him for it. He responded, “Come and you will see.”
So for 2018, let’s realign our hearts, minds and bodies towards something bigger, something better, something more unexpected, something perfect. Let’s listen to Him, hearts and ears open.
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.
Word up. I am Stacy, the youth minister of this amazing group of teens. I have 4 kids of my own, 2 heaven babies and like 60 teens I consider very large children of my own.