A week ago on Sunday, we opened our hearts and whole lives to the narrative of Abraham and Sarah’s calling from God. We held lightly that God is never finished crafting and creating in us and through us. No matter how many birthday candles were on your cake last year, God is still moving in your midst in meaningful, life-giving, and life-changing ways.
Yet, our minds have a few false phrases that can be repeated on a loop. Have you ever found yourself saying, “It’s too late.”? Or “You missed your chance.”? Or “I guess that ship has sailed.” Sometimes we say this to excuse ourselves from the calling. We want to convince ourselves that the window closed, ignoring the other door that opened. To be sure, there are moments when it is too late. I cannot rewind time to go back to when my kids were little. But it is a false narrative to think that it is too late to be a loving parent. If there is breath within me, there is an opportunity to share God’s love, to forgive, to do justice, and walk humbly with God.
Abraham and Sarah learned that lesson late in life. Hannah learned this as well in her life. She thought that the chance to have children was never going to happen. She called out to God. I love that part of our calling story isn’t just us sitting passively by waiting for God to text us or hit us up on social media. We can call on God. You can call on God. You can awaken the courage of your inner-Hannah and call on God with the deep desires of your life. To be sure, God’s collaboration and cooperation and co-authoring your life may not exactly look like your five-year-plan. God often takes me on circuitous routes, with many exit ramps, where my five-day-plan is no longer relevant or realistic. But, in each moment every day, I try to be honest about what is stirring and swirling deep within me. Hannah reminds us that we are not just some puppets with strings God is pulling; we have a voice (remember vocation, calling, comes from the Latin root for voice); we have agency; we have prayers for our lives. We need to voice those honest and heartfelt prayers, own those prayers, let the deep part of ourselves vulnerably have a seat at the table. Remember, your soul is shy and takes time to open (or unfurl and unfold like a flower).
What is your deepest prayer for yourself today? Not your prayers for others, who I know you love. But for yourself? If you were like Hannah to cry out to God, what would you long to be born within you today? I hope you will sit with those two questions today and let them simmer prayerfully in the stew of your soul this week. Amen.