- What's the difference between someone who does a job and someone who enjoys a job?
- What's the difference between an athlete who gets paid to play a sport and an athlete who has a positive effect on a community?
- What's the difference between a student who wants to graduate and a student who wants to make a difference?
- Is there somebody you work with that stands out as somebody who really enjoys it?
- Is there an athlete you know of that, if they left their team/community, they would be missed beyond their athletic ability?
- Is there a student who seems to have another goal beside just getting through school?
Go ahead, ask them, "What is up with you?" (or something like that :-). Find out who they listen to or what drives them or why they do what they do.
How do you listen, though, when you're not sure anyone worthwhile is speaking? There were times when God chose to be silent, or very quiet. For instance, around 1100 B.C., there was a boy named Samuel who was trying to be faithful to this same God, even though he really didn't know much about Him. Samuel had no idea what it meant to listen to God, or whether God spoke at all, or THAT He would speak directly to him. Yet he did! Why? We don't know for sure, but I can say, for sure, that God has never, nor will He ever, leave His creation high and dry, to fend for themselves, without an answer.
We also are able to witness, in I Samuel, chapter 3, that Samuel had what God was looking for (and still looks for today) - a humble attitude and an ear ready to hear anything. Granted, it took until the 4th try for Samuel to actually know that it was God; then, though, he responded immediately and proved that he listened mainly to . . . someone else. This chapter holds the details of Samuel's "calling" and sets the stage for the life of a man who didn't do things unless God told him and who did do the things that hardly anybody else in his day was thinking about.
We, as human beings, are called to live life to the full and, based on the truth about our beginnings, this full life can only come when God is the one we're following, seeking, and honoring. Here's where life becomes something that we LIVE, not just DO: "Whoever tries to keep his life will lost it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it" (Luke 17:33). First, give up trying to solve everything on your own, especially the whole mess about what happens after we die - give it all up to God, make it all about Jesus and his death on the cross in our place, and allow Him to be Who it all depends on. I know it's hard, I know it's not natural, and I know it speaks against almost everything inside of us - yes, it's the epitomy of an humble heart. Second, be in a posture and habit and attitude of readiness to hear anything from someone else (your Creator, Savior, and Sustainer), for daily direction. Remember, you did not choose to live, you aren't here by chance, and you are known. Therefore, you are CALLED TO LIVE, by a personal God, for a specific purpose, to a specific place, with only Him to please (oh, and, remember, He already loves you loads).
I am free, then, to live life to the full because it's all for Him. He'll take care of my needs, my significance, and what ultimately happens to me as an employee, an athlete, a student, a homemaker, a wife, a dad . . . you get it!