I read a poem by Michael Lind today, called Minor Prophets. The first verse of the poem makes the point that none of those we call “minor” prophets actually knew he was minor and suggests that the Habakkuks and Obadiahs of the world probably thought they were the equal of the likes of Elijah or Moses. None of them really had any idea how they would be remembered. The lesson is in the second half of the poem:
Maybe it doesn’t matter.
If you’re on a mission from God, sent to rebuke a city
or to redeem a nation,
where by canon-makers you’re ranked may be inconsequential.
Nor is the voice within you
any less authentic for not having a distant echo.
Seers of the world, be heartened.
Even minor prophets can have genuine revelations.
If we discern, if we listen, if we hear God’s voice and do what God asks us to do, that’s enough. It doesn’t matter how the world rates the importance of the task. The authenticity of our experience of God does not depend on how the “canon-makers” rank us. God speaks to all of us and our task is to act in accord with that task, whatever it is.