Every so often I find myself talking with people who are trying to discern a new direction for their lives, or trying to figure out what God wants them to do. One of the things I share with them is something I call “The Rule of Three’s.” It comes directly from Sunday’s First Reading.
The young Samuel is called three times by the Lord. He hears the voice, but is uncertain of its origin or meaning. He thinks he’s being called by Eli, his teacher and mentor. By the third time, Eli realizes what’s going on and instructs Samuel what to say the next time he hears the voice.
The “Rule of Three’s” goes like this’ if someone (it could be a person or something you hear or read) says you oughta think about doing this or that, it may just be coincidence. If a second person or event, in a totally different time and place and situation, says the same thing, it might be wise to start listening; it might be God, it might not be. (Be careful: if what you are perceiving or hearing is wrong or sinful or life-draining for yourself or others, or if it produces inner turmoil, it’s not from God). If a third person or event, again in a totally different place and time, says the same thing, then chances are pretty good it’s God speaking.
Look at the Gospel, for instance. The two disciples heard John’s previous preaching about the One who is to come. That was one. Two: Jesus walks by, John points out the Lamb of God. Three: They follow … Jesus invites them to “Come and see.” A whole new life opens up to them.
I share this for what it’s worth, with the proviso that it’s always good to talk with someone if you are in a time of discernment. We human beings are pretty good at fooling ourselves! A wise guide will help a lot!
Be God’s smile for someone today!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.