The calling of Samuel begins with "the word of the Lord was very rare in those days." God spoke directly and loudly to Moses and Aaron and even to Joshua. But since then (during the time of judges) God has been speaking less and corruption of God's people (Eli's sons as an example) have caused a distrust in who God is speaking. They either refused to listen to God or greed gets in the way.
And now the Lord speaks to a young boy? Shocking!
In fact, the Lord promises to do a shocking thing. "I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel."
Change is a coming. God is about to release God's judgement upon Eli's house and set forth a new direction in Samuel. And Eli knows it. Eli knows how God works and wants to be in the loop. This is a bold thing. But being in leadership for God, answering the call of duty is a bold thing. Because God is about to do a bold thing through an unlikely source....Samuel.
When called into action, do you usually have a gut instinct to answer that call right away or do you dismiss it as false pride (not being good enough)?
Samuel knew well enough to ask the Lord to speak because he was listening.
Lord, remind us to listen to what you are calling us and help us hear what you might be saying.