An edited extract from an address delivered in Melbourne February 2000.
… the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down within the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said “Here I am!” and ran to Eli and said “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said “Here I am., for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; Lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And the Lord came and stood forth, calling as at other times, “Samuel!, Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak for thy servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel, at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I tell him that I am about to punish his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them….”
SAMUEL was the last of the judges, before Israel began to have kings ruling over it. In fact, it was Samuel who anointed the first King of Israel, Saul and subsequently David. The growth and story of Samuel is an interesting unfolding of how we hear what we are called to do, and perhaps more importantly how we action this. Perhaps also, a good example of how we can listen but not hear, hear but not be obedient, acknowledge but not express.
The prophet hears, but also needs the wisdom to recognize and respond. In you the child Samuel represents the beginning of the inner voice which calls to you, so that you may have a greater picture of yourself.
We lead lives which are not conducive to listening for the still small voice that resides in the Holy of Holies, our heart centre. Yet this is where wisdom and judgment begin. When we retire from the outer and enter deep into the stillness of the silence, and attune our ears to the rhythm of spirit, we can capture the sound of the inner voice. The next step is to invite an inner communion with that still small voice through practices and disciplines, which exhibit that we have chosen this consciously.
The simple essence of metaphysics is portrayed in Samuel, who in you allows you to be in touch with spirit, to do the bidding of spirit, in order to have the expression of spirit permeate your world and fill your consciousness day-to-day. Wisdom and judgment are gifts of the spirit which are available to you, when as Samuel indicates, your life is given in service to what is most sacred and highest within you.