The Sleepless Nights Aren’t So Bad
Your Servant is Listening I was as nervous. My palms were wet like a rag. It was our rehearsals for a school presentation, and I was playing a young Samuel from the Bible, reenacting the story of when God called to him at night. I had basically two lines, “Speak Lord. Your servant is listening.” I heard my cue and stepped out. “Speak Lord, you’re servant is… What was I supposed to say again?” “Cut! Cut!” The director said. “David. Speak Lord. Your servant is listening. Speak Lord. Your servant is listening. You have two lines, David. Two lines. Concentrate!” I remember feeling so pressured. I couldn’t remember a thing. I did end up getting my lines – after 5 million tries. One good thing that did come from that is how the story of Samuel listening for God deep into the night stuck with me. It became my go-to thing to do during restless nights. When I can’t sleep, like now, like last night, like many nights, I say a simple prayer, “Speak Lord. Your servant is listening.” Who knew my clumsiness on stage would result in reinforcing this most important of lifelines? That’s one major reason why I never could have had a career in showbiz, well, also because I don’t have the looks, nor care for whitening products, and I can’t sing, nor dance, nor feel comfortable entertaining people with how terribly substandard my skills are. I’m of the belief we should be making a living off of our excellences not our ineptitude. I guess you can say some are very good at being entertaining fools – which seems to work in the Philippines. Oh well. That’s not the point of this post. Listening for His Voice In the story of Samuel, he would hear a voice calling him, and for the first few times he ran straight to the bedroom of the high priest Eli, the man who was supposedly God’s representative on Earth. Eli, as anyone who has read his story knows, failed in many ways, but he was wise to point Samuel to listen to God after realizing it was God who was calling him. I can imagine how Samuel must have felt, hearing a call, running to the priest in excitement, ready to serve, but being told, “What are you talking about? I didn’t call you.” It can be disappointing to hear a call, answer it, then get disappointed when we realize it wasn’t what we expected. I know I’ve been disappointed this way many times. But after many times of hearing a call, running to the wrong voice for the fulfillment of that call, and being disappointed, I find myself being reminded, “Next time you hear a call, David, wait for my voice.” A call can come in many ways. It can come as loneliness. The answer may seem to come from the voice of beautiful girl or a handsome man, but many times it’s a call to find our security in Him. A call can come in the form of a dream, a life ambition. The answer may lie in investors, in partners, in organizations and institutions, but many times it’s a call to expand our dream to benefit the world. A call can come in the form of a fear, in uncertainty. The answer may seem to present itself in the form of a compromise, but it’s many times a call to strengthen our faith, or even to be patient. Every day, every moment, we are called. To honor God, in a practical sense, means to recognize and respond to His voice among all the voices, even our own. That’s difficult. I know I fail more than I succeed. My prayer is that I get better at recognizing His call in all situations, especially when He shouts out to me through His largest billboard on earth, other people (a topic I’ll be sharing on next). The Sleepless Nights Aren’t So Bad I’m reading a copy of the marriage vows. Boy are these big things to promise. “I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.” Basically it’s saying, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the situation, no matter what voice calls out to me, the voice of joy, the voice of lack, the voice of weakness, the voice of strength, the voice of fear, whatever the voice that calls out to me, I choose to respond to the call to love you. Of course reading promises like this one doesn’t help my chances of sleep. Then I have this thought, “Of all the calls there are, the most beautiful is the call to love.” To fall in love, and I do think there is some falling no matter what anyone says, is to hear a most beautiful call. Many people say hello to me during the day, but a “Good morning” from Yasmin beats all the hellos ever said to me combined. Why? Because all the other hellos come from mere humans, but Yasmin’s good morning comes from the most beautiful girl in the world – and I’m completely objective when I say that – Ok ok, maybe not. But just by a little. When you get that most beautiful call to love, how should we respond? That’s what my next post is about. In the meantime, I suggest praying the lines that grade school director tried to hammer into me, “Speak Lord. Your servant is listening.” I don’t know if that last paragraph made sense. I do lack sleep. Maybe I’ll edit this post someday to be more cohesive. I do know that the sleepless nights aren’t so bad, when we’re listening to the right voice.