Monday, September 13, 2010

Seeing the Significance in the Insignificant

The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.- Amos 1:1 (NKJV)

The Book of Amos unveils the burden laid upon Amos, one of the 12 minor prophets of the Old Testament.    Oddly enough, Amos is wedged somewhere between the joyous coming of the Lord, the Messiah, in Joel and the obscurity of Obadiah.  Amos reveals to all of us that God could take any of us and use us to deliver His message or to exemplify His love through social justice. 

This OT prophecy opens with the seemingly insignificant.  Yet, if we know anything from reading opening verses in the Bible, we learn how captivating an opening should be to its reader.  An opening should reveal the significance of what's about to be read.  Unfortunately, Amos didn't get that memo. 

Amos was a sheepbreeder, also known as a herdsman, not a son of some priestly order like many of his predecessors and peers.  Amos was from Tekoa near Bethlehem.  That's not a region known for its production and promotion of prophets.  He may have served during the reigns of two great kings: Uzziah and Jeroboam.   That didn't matter much either.  He even pointed out that this prophecy came about  two years before the earthquake, making it clear that it wasn't due to the earthquake in question.  The opening of the Book of Amos seems to shed light on the insignificant.

Whether you see these events and activities as one big list of insignificance or not, you have to see the significance that it does bring out about Amos and his times.  Consider that the shepherd heard from God concerning Israel  during the reigns of Judah being split from IsraelGod called a herdsman from Tekoa to deliver His message to Israel.  He did so two years prior to a significant event in the region- the earthquake.

That's in the Bible.  What about how you open your messages concerning your business and brand?
  • How about your conversations with people? Do you stir up interest in your business?
  • Do people feel that your company stands out or just blends in?
  • If someone overheard you speaking to a client, could they pick up on your depth of how-to knowledge combined with your genuine concern and compassion for those with whom you serve?
  • Despite outside events like earthquakes and other tragedies, could your business withstand a financial storm or a family storm?
Use what seems insignificant to stress the significance of what you do and how you do it differently from the crowd.

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