On the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year, that is, of King Jehoiachin’s exile, the word of the LORD came to the priest Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar. There the hand of the LORD came upon me. (Ezekiel 1:2-3)
The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever, wise designs through all generations. (Psalm 33:10-11)
If you seek him, he will be found by you. (2 Chronicles 15:2)
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. (Proverbs 8:17)
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)
This is the third in a series of articles on hearing God “speak” to us. If you are like many Catholic men today (including myself), you are always on the move. But we can move so fast that no one can keep up with us. Every day our cell phone registers several missed calls, our computer has missed e-mails, and our voice mail is full of missed messages. Sometmes we miss important messages that could have helped us out in one way or another. But we didn’t hear them in time. Unfortunately, our “busyness” can get in the way of hearing God speak to us as well.
Can you imagine if a prophet like Ezekiel were too busy and missed out on hearing God speak to him? He never would have received an awesome revelation (Ezekiel 1), a revelation that changed his life and gave him the calling of a prophet. But because he did hear his calling and accepted it, he was able to warn the Israelites in exile of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and of the glory that would be theirs when they finally returned to their homeland. Because Ezekiel’s priority was seeking God and hearing his voice, he was able to fulfill God’s plan for his life. This must be our priority as well.
Unfortunately, some of us believe that God speaks only to a select few and makes his will apparent only to “saints.”. It’s true that many saints received dramatic revelations: St. Paul heard Jesus on the road to Damascus. St. Francis heard him at St. Damiano, saying, “Rebuild my church.” Mother Teresa heard him asking her to serve the poorest of the poor. But as we saw in the first article, God more often speaks in a still, small voice deep withn us-to those who pause to listen.
I believe God desires to speak to us every day in some way. He has a perfect plan for our lives, a plan that he formed before we were born (Psalm 139). Discovering that plan isn’t about just figuring things out on your own-it’s about listening to him! If you persist in seeking Jesus and asking him to show himself to you, you will find him. And finding him, you will hear his voice and find your calling.
As you draw closer to Jesus in prayer and worship, individually, with others, or at Mass, you will be more able to hear that still small voice within you-and you will want to do his will. Take the first step by surrendering your life to him today, and know that he will guide you!
“Speak, Lord, your servant is listening! Draw me closer to you, and reveal your will to me. Remove any confusion from my mind, and show me the path you have chosen for me. Lord Jesus, I surrender my life to you. I will follow wherever you lead.”
Maurice Blumberg is Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men Center.
[Many thanks to The Word Among Us (http://www.wau.org/) for allowing us to adapt material from daily meditations in their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.]
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
- 1. The article talks about how the hectic pace of our lives can cause us to miss important messages from other people. How can this same “busyness” cause us to miss hearing from God? Share an example from your own life.
- 2. Many Christians believe that God only speaks to saints or very holy people. Do you believe this as well?
- 3. What are some ways God uses to speak to “ordinary” Christians like you and I? Share an example from your own life.
- 4. In Proverbs 8:17, the Lord says that those who seek him will find him. How hard are you seeking the Lord these days? What changes do you need to make to seek the Lord with all your heart?
- 5. If you are in a men’s group, continue to pray for one another that each of you would surrender your lives more deeply to the Lord, and open your self to “hearing” his voice to lead and guide you. Use the prayer at the end of the article as the starting point. Share the fruit of this prayer at future men’s meetings.