During the time young Samuel was minister to the LORD under Eli,
a revelation of the LORD was uncommon and vision infrequent.
One day Eli was asleep in his usual place.
His eyes had lately grown so weak that he could not see.
The lamp of God was not yet extinguished,
and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
In the reading today, the Lord is calling Samuel. Samuel was lucky. He got to have his Father in Heaven wake him up in the middle of the night to tell him what he wanted him to do. Some of us aren’t that lucky.
Sometimes I wish that from birth, each of us were stamped with a sign of our future profession. Then we wouldn’t have to make any choices, or wonder somewhere down the line that the choice we made was right.
As a high school senior, everyone asks you where you want to go to college, and as such, I can rattle off the list of the eight colleges I have applied to in about three seconds flat. But I don’t know yet. And I’m hoping and praying that the one I decide to go to will be the right one, the one where I will be able to fulfill every dream I have.
Then after college, I plan on attending medical school with the intent of being a surgeon, which will require extra years of residency and fellowship after. But what if that isn’t the right choice? I have found over the past two and a half years that I really enjoy teaching, but I have heard plenty of stories of teachers who got “stuck” teaching because they didn’t follow their dreams into medical school. Was that the right choice—for them to teach? Or were they meant for the medical profession? Oh, how I wish we were born with a stamp.
Sometimes, I think that if only the Lord just started talking to me in the middle of the night, just as he did with Samuel, then I would be happy; I would know exactly what I needed to do to be happy and fulfill his plan for my life. But then, I get scared. That’s super scary for the voice of God to speak to you in the middle of the night! And so I pray for a sign. But there have been many signs (quite literally, actually, because every bumper sticker turns into a “sign” when you’re looking for one) and how am I to know if a sign I see is the “right” one.
We can’t know that the path we choose is the right one, but whatever one chooses, be it the medical profession, teaching, pastoral ministry, or petroleum engineering, there is joy to be found and one must look for it. That is the will of God—for each one of us to be happy while following each of his laws to a T. And I know that whatever I choose, I will find joy in it (although I’m still almost hoping for that voice in the night to clear things up).