I often think of where I have been compared to where I am now. Sometimes, I give myself a pat on the back for not being the lost cause I once was. I don’t know where my desire to take credit for what was surely God’s work comes from. I can’t understand how my brain can tell me to take pride in the things that humility has brought me.
If I had never been humbled, I would still be a bumbling fool trying to find my way in the dark with my eyes closed.
There is obviously something still within me that needs to be left behind in my life.
1 Kings 19:19 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”
Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”
Here begins one of the most confusing relationships in biblical history. It is much easier to read about than to tell about. I’ve heard lots of people who pronounce both names exactly the same even though they think they are not. Heaven only knows why God chose to use Elijah and Elisha instead of Max and Ralph.
But Big E found Little E working in the field and threw his cloak on him and Little E knew that it was time to enter a new part of his life. He was to leave the old behind and let go of the past as well as the present. No words were recording indicating this, just the cloak across his shoulders.
Each morning I can look at life and, if I am honest and not blinded by selfish desires, I can see things that I need to leave behind. Today, I can see I need to leave some pride in myself behind and embrace God’s plan more with a higher level of commitment.
1 Kings 19:21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.
Little E went back to those things that could keep him at home and destroyed them. There was no going back to his plow, no going back to his livestock. They were gone and would never return.
I need to intentionally leave my pride in a heap of ashes before I walk out the door this morning. I need to lean on God’s provision and his wisdom. I know that each day, I pick up a few things for myself when God is leading me along this journey. Anger, envy, greed and a host of other things make their way into my possession and they are not for God’s glory. They are for me and my selfishness.
It is time to do a little burning before I get on my way today.