I went to sleep around midnight and woke at three this morning. I blinked in the darkness and thought, Maybe a prophet doesn’t accomplish much in life in terms of how we measure success. Maybe he doesn’t get his doctorate, buy a house, climb the corporate ladder, network on LinkedIn or leave his kids a fortune when he dies.
The prophet listens to God. He sees the potential and possibilities and casts a vision that others can propel themselves toward with intensity. He points people elsewhere:
And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel. – Luke 1:80
And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” – Mark 1:7
People don’t become history-makers because they have history in mind, but because they pursue a vision of existence that is not present reality. This very moment there are prophets hidden from public view, growing strong in spirit in the desert places of the world. The mystery of the Incarnation continues to unfold in the lives of mediocre mundane nobodies no one’s ever heard of.
There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. – Ecclesiastes 9:14-15