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Charla Ink Slingers Spiritual Growth

“Speak Lord for your servant is listening.”

samWhen I was a little girl, I remember my mother reading the Bible story of Samuel to me. I placed myself in his position, hearing my name called in the middle of the night, mistaking the voice for my mom’s or my dad’s, and then realizing that it was the Lord that was speaking to me, I responded with “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” It was heart-warming and flattering to me that God was actually calling me, that He wanted to speak to me, and that He was there, in the middle of the night, while I slept, wanting to talk to me. Here I was, a little girl, and I was important to God, so important that he called me out of my slumber to speak to me. The only problem is that as I grew up, I stopped listening. I stopped listening for a long time.
In interpersonal communication, we are told that the best communicators are good listeners. It is a sign of respect to listen to those in authority, to our own children, and to friends who need us. But in order to listen, we must become silent, and oh how difficult that is for me. I realize that God has authority over me and in order to do His will, I must know exactly what it is he wants of and asks of me, and above all else, I want to show Him the respect He deserves, but why can’t I just quiet myself. My self-importance never allows humility and one must be humble in order to be quiet. I keep talking because I like to listen to my own words, my own thoughts. My words are comforting to me; they make me feel important and wise and powerful. I can close my heart from being hurt or affected by the words of others; I become the center of my own world, but in the process, I avoid the Lord.
Besides my own pride getting in the way of my listening for the Lord’s call, my insecurity causes me to avoid silence. Silence is agitating because it require me to be introspective, and more often than not, I don’t like what I find if I dig deep within myself. I feel unworthy of God’s call. I am not Samuel; I am just me. I cannot possibly be of such importance that God needs to speak to me. What I fail to comprehend is that I am important to God; I am of worth to Him; I have come to the realization that He needs to speak to all of us. It is the way He lets us know His will for us. Mother Angelica has stated that no one truly seeks happiness, rather we seek our own way. Our own way does not bring happiness, following God’s will for us is what brings content and happiness.

By Charla

Charla is a life-long Catholic, married since 1995. She has three children who attend Catholic school and university. Charla has been teaching high school English literature at the same Catholic high school she attended for over 15 years. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Latin American Studies, and Secondary Education, as well as a Masters degree in Education. Charla has served as a lector and Eucharistic minister at her parish and school. She enjoys reading, cooking, running, and all activities involving her children. Her special devotions are to the Blessed Mother, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and the Holy Rosary.