Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, May 21

These were the ones chosen from the congregation, the leaders of their ancestral tribes, the heads of the divisions of Israel.
—Numbers 1:16

“Have you ever thought of…?” You can finish the sentence from here. Most of us, if we think back far enough, have had the experience of someone suggesting what we ought to do with our lives. “Have you considered becoming a teacher?” a relative might have asked, noting that we have a gift for explaining complex issues in understandable terms.

Or perhaps a mentor commented on our skill in encouraging others and delegating tasks, remarking that we’d make a fine manager someday. Whatever the particulars, it’s safe to say that at least once in our lives, another person has seen something in us that we haven’t seen in ourselves. This is one way we discover our gifts.

Like Moses, however, we may be reluctant to believe what we hear. “I have never been eloquent…,” Moses protested when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. “I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” His objection notwithstanding, Moses went on to do what God had asked. He had what it took after all.

As much as we like to think that our spiritual journey is an individual pursuit, the truth is that we need the community to help us discern our path. It is, after all, through them that God challenges us, and directs us, and gives us a glimpse of who we really are.


O God, let me always be open to the vision that comes from you through the words and actions of others.

The Signposts for May are written by Susan Hanson and originally appeared on in September 2004.