So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” I Sam 3:9.
Sandra had been the leader of the Christian medical and dental students in San Antonio. I had not seen her for years when we caught up at a colleague’s wedding. She had settled into a Family Practice in Texas, was married with a great husband and two kids.
“Everything’s great,” she told me. “But it doesn’t always seem right. I remember my days in school and remember my passion for the Lord. I know God made me for more than myself and my family.”
“You may be exactly where God wants you,” I said.
“I know. But I always planned to something great with my life. After all these years it seems like I’ve settled into a life like every other doctor I know---just busy with good but unimportant things, taking care of my family and handing out bits of extra to God’s business.”
God certainly doesn’t want us to become just like other doctors. He may wish us to live in the same location and with the same occupation, or not. He certainly wants us to be different. As Flannery O’Connor put it, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.” Odd like Jesus.
Some of us have grown to become odd like Jesus and others of us have grown normal, like our doctor colleagues who don’t love God.
What is it that makes us into who we become?
Os Guinness in his book, The Call, describes four forces that mold our lives:
- We are constituted to be: each of us is born with unique attributes and skills that direct us down certain paths in our lives.
- We are constrained to be: our culture, our environment and the events in our lives play a real part in directing who we become.
- Many of us can rise above our constitution and the constraints on our lives with the courage to be more than our biology and environment would naturally make us.
- Courage without direction is dangerous and foolhardy. The direction in which we point our courage may come from many sources; but, if we are to use our courage for life that matters, we need to become what we are called to be.
God’s call comes to each of us. Some of us listen and some have the courage to follow.
Let me strain my ears Your way. Give me the courage to obey.