Then they said to him, "Inquire of God that we may know whether the mission we are undertaking will succeed." (Judges 18:5 NRSV)

In a newspaper, several years ago, there was a photograph of a sixty-seven-year-old black man with a smile that went from ear to ear. The light coming from his eyes was extraordinary. "The accompanying story told about this man who had been a longshoreman all his life and had retired at the age of sixty-five. He was also an alcoholic.

He visited the same bar every day. One day he found that he was bored and decided to ask the universe for help. He didn't really expect an answer. However, he heard a little voice inside him saying that he should go out and buy a broom and a cart. There was no doubt in his mind that for the first time in his life he had heard God's voice. He was then instructed to spend each day sweeping the streets around Mission High School. He did just that, and he stopped drinking. He soon found that he had become a surrogate grandfather for many of the students, and the kids dearly loved him and his wonderful smile. After getting to know this man, no student would dare to throw trash in the street.

"This man wasn't after recognition; he wanted only to do God's work. He said that he has never felt as peaceful and happy as he does now. He knows that his mission in life is to be a messenger of God's love, and that the form of his giving is to sweep the streets and to become friends with the students at Mission High School."

Have you heard God's voice lately? Have you discovered your mission?


God of peace, help me to know clearly what my mission is to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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