Maybe because “the word of the Lord was rare in those days,” or maybe because he was young, Samuel did not recognize the voice of God when it came in the night. In fact, it took three tries and the wisdom of his trusted, aged mentor for him to realize it was God calling him into action.
How often do you have a passing thought, “I should call that person,” or “I wonder if that person needs help with…” and then quickly moved on without acting on the thought? Could it be that it was God speaking? How good are you at listening for the voice of God, recognizing it, and then responding? What practices might help you in that endeavor?
Today, stand outside for a few minutes. Wear a coat; it’s cold outside! Close your eyes and listen for the sounds around you. Let your mind wander. Say these words – either out loud or inside your head – “Speak, O Lord, for your servant is listening.”