Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

January 11, 2012

Michael Bahl

Junior, Theology and Classical and Near Eastern Civilizations Majors

1 Sm 3:1-10, 19-20
Ps 40:2 and 5, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10
Mk 1:29-39

“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” – Samuel 3:10

Can you even imagine how scared and unnerved little Samuel must have been when God called out to him in today’s scripture reading? Samuel is asleep, alone, when a voice pierces the darkness, calling his name. It quickly becomes apparent that no nearby human that should be in the Temple at night is summoning him. A stranger in the night keeps calling, waking him up, leaving him confused and afraid. And then, finally, he engages the voice for what it is. God comes to Samuel in the dead of night, and Samuel comes to know God by humble submission to his will.

The noisy hot air that envelops us during the day refuses to dissipate at night. How difficult it is to hear the voice of God! Samuel is completely alone, in silence, without a cell phone, the Internet, or his iPod Touch to distract him. And still, it takes God four tries to get him to sit still and figure out that he, God, is talking to him. How many tries would it take God to pierce through all of the senseless noise that we surround ourselves with today?

In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 1, Jesus gets it right: “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” Sometimes, it just makes sense to get away from everything and truly disconnect ourselves from this hectic sphere in order to connect ourselves to the pure and peaceful world that only God can bring us to. My favorite way to start out my morning or end my day is with a slow and quiet walk around the places I often race by in my haste. I turn off my cell phone, take off my backpack, and just walk. I do not say a word, nor do I think about what else I have yet to do. Only in peace and quietness does the noisy hot air that I allow myself to breath in day in and day out dissipate.

Take a walk with God, and only God. Let us put ourselves into a position in which we can hear God’s voice in whatever form it comes, and listen to it. Digest it. Desire more of it. And then, when it comes, listen to it and submit. Let us learn to empty ourselves of the hot air that distracts us, and find the peaceful stillness in which God can and will come to each of us.

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