1 Kings 19:19-21
'So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field with a team of oxen. There were elven teams of oxen ahead of him, and he was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and walked away again.
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 consider what I have done to you."
Elisha then returned to his oxen, killed them, and used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the other plowmen, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.'
When I first read this passage, I was perplexed. The reason being is that I could not comprehend HOW Elisha knew what Elijah meant when he threw his cloak over his shoulders. I can imagine that if it were me, I would've said either one of the following:
- Do I look like a coat hanger to you?!
- Just because your cloak is out of fashion and you want to get rid of it, doesn't mean that you can simply dump it on other people!!
- Do I LOOK like I need your stinky, old cloak?!
Hmmm....anyways whilst feeling very unsatisfied and annoyed that Elijah was such a rude dude, a couple of things came to my mind.
MAYBE Elisha knew Elijah by reputation and that he was in need of an assistant.
MAYBE that was the old-fashioned way of hiring people (Thank God it's no longer in use!).
MAYBE Elisha already knew a long time ago the purpose and destiny that was in store for him and was just waiting for a sign from God.
The fact is, Elisha RECOGNIZED the call on his life. He KNEW what the coat symbolized.
Do you know what the call of God is on your life? Will you recognize it when the time comes? Or will you push it away and think that it's just a junky, old cloak?
The second thing that got to me was the way Elisha was so WILLING to follow Elijah. He was prepared to LEAVE his family behind, knowing that he might not see them ever again! He was going to do it with no questions asked. He probably didn't even fully comprehend what he was getting himself into by becoming Elijah's assistant. But regardless of the circumstances, he still RESPONDED to the call. It didn't matter what the future held, wild horses wouldn't stop him from going.
If you do recognize the call on your life, will you respond like Elisha? Will you be willing to forsake EVERYTHING for something that you are uncertain of? Will you be able to TRUST that that is the circle of influence that has been so lovingly prepared and set aside for you? Or will you step back and make excuses?
Hope I made sense :)