"Speak, for your servant is listening." I Sam 3:10
All of us obsess from time to time. We know the drill. We start to think about something and one detail or another is not clear so we keep going back over what we have been thinking about. When this happens in the middle of the night, it often keeps us awake for hours.
A few years ago, a friend told me about his silly obsession. His three teenage daughters were driving him crazy by using two towels every time they showered and then would throw the towels in the laundry to be washed. He spoke to them. They listened but didn't change. He reminded them how expensive it was to run the dryer. They listened but didn't change. Finally, he went to one of their basketball games and when he heard so many other parents praising his daughters for their kindness and concern for others, he knew he had to stop obsessing about all the towels they used. They heard about their father's joy and changed.
Thank God Samuel, who often slept in the temple because he wanted to be open to the Lord, was not obsessing about what his role might be in Israel's history when God called him, otherwise he never would have been able to to respond to the Lord. When God called Samuel in the middle of the night, he was very alert, but thought it was Eli who needed him. Three times Eli assured Samuel he did not call him, and told him to go back to sleep. Finally Eli, realizing it was God who was calling Samuel, told Samuel to answer: Speak, Lord, your servant is listening. Because Samuel wanted only to do God's will, he listened, responded and became the prophet God intended him to be. The same can be true of us. Only when we let God be God and let go of our need to control the world, can we hear God's insistent call to follow Jesus and fulfill our vocation.
Today, ask God to free you from obsessions.