The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and join up with that chariot.”
In the first reading today, Phillip feels/spiritually hears God calling him to take a desert route, not one he would normally take. God has some important things to discuss with a certain Ethiopian eunuch, and He needs Phillip to do that talking.
Ever have that feeling; that you are being called to go and speak with someone for God?!
I am enjoying the Alpha group that is being held at a local parish near my home. Yesterday one of the women in my group related how she felt called to speak to someone but didn’t do it. She felt that sharing what she had to say with that another person wasn’t going to be received well in a public space. What she had to say wasn’t bad, so maybe the Spirit was telling her to wait for a better less public time to speak.
The word “go” is mentioned in the Bible 1,514 times. We are encouraged to go tell, go invite, go make, now today we are being called to go join.
So what happens if we are called like Phillip was, to go join, but we demure? Does it mean that the opportunity is lost to us forever? No. It does give us be a moment to discern what is being done, how you are feeling about the call, the person, place or thing.
Like my friend, she had several important factors to consider. First, who was around her and her friend when she felt called to speak? The subject is a private one and a matter of faith. While in this small circle of fellow workers there is a person with a very negative attitude about faith and the Catholic expression of it. Knowing this my friend could have said what she felt called to say and let the chips fall where they may, but she held off. She held off to protect the person she needed to speak to from the slings and arrows that he did not need at the time. She also denied ammo to the person who with the negative attitude; God was NOT calling my friend to deal with her, so it was the right course to leave that woman alone.
Next, she was considering the importance of the message. It wasn’t a bad one, but it was a deep one; one that was going to take time to explore. Deferring a calling like this speaks to wisdom and sensitivity.
What would happen if my friend just let the moment pass and ignored the call to speak out of fear.
Two things would likely happen. The call does not disappear, so she may have the call visit her again, and again until in some manner it is cared for. God never lets a situation go into oblivion. He will find someone, if not you, or me, or my friend, to deal with it.
Secondly, if we ignore God’s calling for us to move in this world, we begin to lose momentum for us to move positively in this world. We begin to hide. Hiding from God is akin to hiding from the greatest of ourself, and we do this because we feel unworthy. An attitude that God NEVER wants us to have.
With each step we take to speak boldly with love and gentleness we become stronger. When we speak our story, heed the call we bring light into a dark world.