The first reading today was from Amos 7:10-17. Reading the story, I thought that I have grown in many ways through God’s grace. Basically, there was a shepherd and dresser of Sycamores named Amos. God told him to prophesy to His people in Israel which Amos did. Amaziah, the priest in Bethel, did not like what Amos was saying and told him to leave and go to Judah and stay away from Bethel. Instead, Amos told him some pretty harsh things that were going to happen to him and his family.
So, how have I grown? In the past, when I did not like what someone was telling me or disagreed, I pretty much cut them off, argued or just basically eliminated them from my life. I did not have time to listen to things I thought were pretty “stupid” points of view. Ironically, I can think of many things that I vehemently disagreed with and now believe wholeheartedly to be true, even about myself.
I have grown to listen much more than I speak. I ask the Holy Spirit often for the Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom of what was said that I may discern it properly. There are many people, friends, foes and strangers that say things that I do not want to hear. Like Amos was to Amaziah, they can be a thorn in my side. But because of those thorns, I have come into a better relationship with God and a better understanding of myself.
Even the blogs I read here from many of you, have points of views that I may not initially agree with. Praying, discerning and seeking to understand the point of the message has really helped me to grow ecumenically as a Christian. So to all the Amos’ out there, I am listening with an open mind and heart but at times, I can also be the Amos for others. God is amazing. It will do us all well to heed his voice through whomever he sends to us. Amen.