Two weeks into the new year, the sacred texts alert us yet again to the fact that we do not create our own lives or futures, regardless of our penchant for planning and organization. We are called into being, called to serve and called into the unknown future by a God who knows and loves us and never departs from us. Our response to God is constituted in what we do with all the divine calls that punctuate our days and nights with possibility.
In formulating his response to God, Samuel (first reading) was aided by the older and wiser Eli. Most of us have the need of an “Eli” at one time or another in our lives. Some of us are also called to be an Eli for others. At times, serving as someone’s Eli simply means being present to them -- listening, talking, praying or sharing calm quiet with them. Finding an answer to every question is not always as necessary as just being a companion to another as they search and discern.