Summary: God calls us, but we tend to ignore His call.
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am."
And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.
So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ’Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
And the LORD said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. (NIV)
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter). The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." (NIV)
In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is the well-known 12 step program that alcoholics move through to improve their lives. I’m not an alcoholic, but I know something about those steps.
Step 8 is to make a list of those we have harmed.
Step 9 is to make amends to them.
If I were to ever live my life with the 12 step program, and I were to arrive at step number 9, I would have to try to find my 11th grade chemistry teacher.
I’m sorry for what I did to her.
I did not mean to start the fire in chemistry lab – but I really don’t think she should have given me a Bunsen burner and a flask full of chemicals.
I did not mean for her to be so close to my Bunsen burner when the incident took place.
Most of all, I am sorry that day after day, I drove her nuts because I never paid any attention to her.
I just couldn’t help myself.
After all, I was 16 years old. And it was the last class of the day. And I just had other things to think about than the Periodic Table.
And then, on one warm Spring Day – I think it was a Friday – I was lost in thought, dreaming about – well, I think it had something to do with girl.
Anyway, my teacher reached her limit with me.
She picked up her chemistry book, threw it on the desk, pointed her finger at me and said, “That’s why! That’s why the low grades. Wake up!!”