something crazy

I was reading again tonight about Elijah and Elisha, and I can't shake this piece of the story: Elisha was plowing a field with some oxen when Elijah found him. He was hard at work, doing what he was trained (and skilled) to do. I imagine that this day looked pretty similar to so many days before it. Farming is monotonous but grueling work.

Then Elijah walked right across the field and wrapped his cloak around Elisha, symbolicly passing on his ministry anointing. And in that moment, Elisha made a decision.

He chose to leave behind the comfortable and familiar to obediently follow God's call.

He knew it wasn't an easy decision. He was choosing the hard.

He knew that there would be tough days when he'd long for the back-breaking labor of farming. He knew he'd be tempted to return to his old life. So he did something drastic. Something crazy.

He sacrificed his oxen.

Elisha broke apart his wooden plow, set it on fire, and cooked his cattle.

He didn't want turning back to even be an option, so he made a bonfire out of his former life.

He gave himself nothing to return to. No plan B. Nothing to "fall back on" except risky faith in a faithful God.

Reminds me of Peter.

When Jesus was killed, Peter's future turned into a giant question mark. He couldn't make sense of a crucified Messiah. So he went back to what he was doing before he'd started following Christ. He went back to fishing.

Reminds me of me.

When my faith wavers, when difficult turns to impossible, when I have no idea what God is up to... I'm tempted to turn back.

I'm inclined to go back to my old way of thinking, my former plans, my loosely-held hope. I once again long for the comfortable and familiar. I want to return to something I understand. Something I can "control".

So I need to do something drastic.

Something crazy.

I need to build a bonfire.