On a search for a better world, finding it in the most unlikely places
“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.” [I Kings 19:19-21]
In this story we get a clear perspective on one of the critical qualities of leadership. Elisha recognized his moment of opportunity when it came, and took decisive action to step into that moment. Do we even recognize these moments in our lives, and if so are we prepared to take intentional and sacrificial action? Elisha left himself no room for error. He was so in tune to the calling of God that he literally burned his bridges. How many of us are prepared to sacrifice the comfort and security of the life we lead now for the opportunity to live the life we were created for?
Could it be that far too many of us meander through life? How many times in both the old and new testament does God call his people to “wake up”? I believe that what God wants is our attention, which is to say He wants our passionate, focused devotion. We should be living life intentionally, and there is never any excuse for a conceding the value of our potential to our momentary circumstances. Every one of us was born with an immeasurably great potential to impact the world we live in, yet so few of us will ever realize that potential. Following Jesus means moving from blindness to sight, from aimlessness to intentionality, from listlessness to pursuit. So any things can distract us, yet in the end only one thing matters: the singular pursuit of an authentic relationship with God through Jesus Christ. When we step into that pursuit, we find not only who God is, but who we are. In finding ourselves, we learn to lay down our lives for something greater, and when we do this, we transform not only our own story, but history itself!
I dare you to live life intentionally. Because a half life is no life at all.