To continue Monday's blog entry, my second answer to the question, "What the heck am I supposed to be praying for?" came Sunday morning at the 7:30AM church service. As the procession began, I glanced to my right and saw Deacon Shane walking up the aisle, carrying the Book of the Gospel. I knew immediately that I had an answered prayer coming.
My father, my favorite homilist of all time, was theatrics embodied...the rise and fall of his speech as he speak-sung his message was so moving...the cadence of the language creating an intoxicating rhythm. His words, like poetry, were inspired, almost ethereal. His humor was as great as was his profundity. (Gosh, he was cute...) His delivery, in every way, felt like a performance for God at the pulpit. But it wasn't self-involved...this was simply the way God had made him, passionate and charismatic.
Deacon Shane, on the other hand, is unpresumptious, self-effacing, a "regular guy" in his delivery. His homily's, in comparison with my dad's, are quiet and reflective, but no less profound. On the contrary, each time he speaks, I recognize how effective being calm and unassuming can be. I recognize also that selfless, prayerful quality that comes from truly "listening" for the message. In Deacon Shane, I see a true disciple. He is beginning to run a close second to my fave homilist status!
So when he approached the pulpit to read the Gospel and preach the Word, my inner turmoil began to abate as I left myself open for an answer. I was not disappointed. The answer was in several parts, the first of which I will share with you now. It is simple, but no less important in its simplicity.
"We're being called to follow."
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, there's the intended subject of my prayers. "How can I best follow You?"
You're sure, God? You don't want me to lead? You're positive? You know You made me into a effective leader. Sure?
Riiiiigggghhhht, that's why You sent me readings twice this week - twice...duh - of Samuel hearing God in a dream, and answering, "Speak, for your servant is listening." (1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19) (I just thought the church made a mistake and assigned that scripture again. I feel badly now that I was smugly wondering why we were reading it again on Sunday when we had already read it Wednesday!)
So my intended goal is to listen, to heed, to follow and to carry out. It doesn't matter right now that I pray for a direction. I'm being directed as I listen daily. The path is laid out...listen, follow...the path will lead me on.