Back in 2006-2007, I spent 9 months serving with NET Ministries based in St. Paul, MN. With NET, Catholic young adults are split up in teams and travel around the country putting on retreats for middle school and high school aged youth. I remember during our training period hearing about all the various roles such as leading retreats, giving talks, etc. While hearing theses roles, I was thinking those positions are definitely not for me. They are without a doubt out of my comfort zone. I’m the middle child of a large family so I do really well with the behind the scenes jobs. I never saw myself having the skills for leadership and speaking positions.
But of course, God has a sense of humor and of course I was assigned to all the positions I didn’t think I had the skills for. I was very nervous the first few times but God provided the grace, peace and skills to accomplish the necessary tasks. Those experiences helped and grow in ways I never thought I could. To this day, God is providing situations that don’t feel comfortable and stretch me such as leading young adult meetings or writing this meditation. But thank goodness the Lord knows me better than I know myself. The Holy Spirit has nudged me enough to say “yes” especially when I wanted to say “no.” It is an area that I continue to grow in but pray that God will wipe any blinders from my eyes and allow me to see the ways he wants to use me.
I didn’t feel I met the world’s standards as being the best leader, best speaker, the smartest and best person for particular roles but God saw past that and He saw my heart. The same applies to David in the first reading. Traditional standards would have used hierarchy or status for various positions but God uses a different method. He said to Samuel in the first reading, “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” He looks at how a person thinks and acts, not at a person’s place in family or society. God is looking for someone who is open, obedient and faithful to His will.
The Lord can use even the smallest, youngest, poorest, and least educated. We should never underestimate the ways God wants to use us for his kingdom. It’s easy to think, “I am a sinner, I’m young, I’m busy, and I don’t have what it takes.” God is able to use us all. He used Moses who was a murderer and shepherd, Jonah an ordinary fisherman, and Mary a peasant teenager. We just have to be open, ready and present. Present out in the world but also present in prayer. As we grow in our relationship with Him through prayer and the sacraments, we grow in union with Him and are more in tune with the calling of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. We are able to be more aware of the ways Christ wants to use us for His Kingdom. God sees what we are to become. He knows our heart and our potential.
Do you have blinders on? Do you have an open heart? What are some ways God wants to use you today? He just wants us to be open. He just wants us to say YES! You will be surprised in the potential that God sees in you. He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves.