Hearing THE Director – Homily for 2nd Week of Ordinary Time
RACI is a type of “responsibility assignment matrix.” It describes the various roles necessary to complete the various tasks of a project. RACI is an acronym which stands for, Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.
- Responsible – Those who do the work.
- Accountable (also Approver) – The one who is answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the task. There must be only one accountable specified for each task.
- Consulted – Those whose opinions are sought and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Informed – Those who are kept up-to-date on progress, and with whom there is one-way communication.
You don’t want to spin your wheels in life. You want to do what you were called to do. You want to do the right thing. That doesn’t happen on its own. You need a “director.”
In Master Class: Ron Howard Teaches Directing, Ron seems to talk about this project called “life.” In laying out the goal of his “master class on directing,” Ron says, “I really want to de-mystify the role of the director … We all understand stories. It makes us all believe that we can direct. And we probably all can.”
(But) “You have to understand one thing, and that’s every project you get involved in, ultimately is just going to find its way to breaking your heart.” (Marriage, kids, job, the family vacation, …). Ron goes on, “We all have our own instincts. What we have to do is back up those instincts with something called “craft.”
In a small way, today’s readings are giving us a chance to demystify the role of THE Director, and THE Director is saying: “What you hear – leads to what you do – in this ‘life thing.” So hearing is one of the “crafts” that must be honed and practiced in Jesus’ “Master Class.” And you also must understand that as you practice this craft, ultimately it is just going to find a way to break your heart.” In other words, you are going to fail.
Eli and Samuel failed, and failed again, and failed again! God had to call three times before the experienced old priest Eli tumbled to the fact that it was God who was calling Samuel. It took four times for God to call before Samuel finally answered by saying, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”
Saint Louis University Philosophy Professor, Eleonore Stump asks, “Wouldn’t you suppose that if God called you, you would know something very special had happened? Who would believe that God could call you and you wouldn’t recognize that you were having a wild, spooky, religious experience? Who would believe that you could get the voice of God confused with the voice of the old guy in the neighboring room?”
Well, not necessarily. “During the time young Samuel was minister to the LORD under Eli, the word of the LORD was scarce and vision infrequent (Samuel 3:1). In “Here to Hear God,” Reverend Emily Knight from Ocala First United Methodist Church asks, doesn’t “it sound a lot like today? Seen any visions recently? Do you know anybody who has been getting audible prophetic words from God?” We pray to God and we hear ….. (crickets). We get uncomfortable and unsure. “Are you there God? Are you listening? Am I getting this right?”
Eli finally came to understand that you can be in direct contact with God and still not know that it is God who is talking to you.” Here’s the scary thing: if God’s voice can be confused with some ordinary voice, how does Eli know, how does Samuel know, how does anyone know that THE Director is saying “Cut!” or saying “Action!”?
Professor Stump goes on, “You can’t know, until you are willing to listen. In God’s RACI model, God doesn’t force (one-way) monologues on the unwilling. Here’s the first action item: God always invites us to (two-way) conversations, but we have choose to enter into that two-way dialogue. When Samuel is ready to tell God that he is willing to listen, then the real connection between God and Samuel begin.
Here’ the second action item: Answer these questions: Who is your ELI? What do you use to “hear” the voice of God? What short-circuits the communication?
- WHO is your Eli?
- Prayer Team
- Spiritual Director
- WHAT do you use to “hear” the voice of God?
- Prayerful counsel of others
- Spiritual reading
- Paying attention and being aware of God moving and speaking through seemingly ordinary events in life
- WHAT short-circuits the communication:
- Doing it yourself. In other words, a lack of consulting “prayerful counsel” from others about your prayer
- Your personality
- Lack of intentional Scripture reading
- Lack of intentional quiet time and thinking about this stuff (aka, “reflection”)