In addition to personal readings, I always try and read a few Psalms a day. Today, January 16, I happened to be in the 16th chapter. Give it a read, it hit home for me this morning.
Today I’m going to take a more biblical approach to the post. If you aren’t necessarily religious or spiritual just hang in with me, this won’t be that painful.
What does it truly mean to live 100%? To give up everything and pursue the one thing you’ve been called to do? This is something I’ve always questioned. That one thing you’re committed to above everything else. To really be all in with every aspect of your life. A great example of this is found in 1 Kings, the story of Elisha and Elijah. I’ve always loved this story and what it represents.
Elijah was a prophet of God. 1 Kings tells us he had the power of God upon him. He had a somewhat of an apprentice named Elisha. God spoke to Elijah and told him that when the time was right Elisha would be the next prophet. (There’s a lot more details you’ll have to read to find out, I’ll just skip to the good stuff.) So when the time came, God told Elijah to anoint Elisha as the new prophet. Here’s what happened:
19 So Elijah departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his mantle (coat) on him.20 He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and mother [goodbye], then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go on back; for what have I done to [stop] you?”21 So Elisha left him and went back. Then he took a pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their meat with the implements of the oxen [as fuel], and gave the meat to the people, and they ate. Then he stood and followed Elijah, and served him. – 1 Kings 19:19-21
Let’s dissect this a bit, because the impact of living a life to the fullest is packed in these three short scriptures.
Elisha Was Prepared
Elisha had been following Elijah for many years at this point. He had watched, studied, and put everything he had into learning from this man. He wanted to be ready for whatever Elijah would have him do.
It Wasn’t An Ideal Situation
Let’s think about this. Usually, when we think we’re going to start a new chapter in life, it’s this huge revelation. It’s a big moment that we have this overwhelming desire to quit and start something new. This wasn’t the case for Elisha. Elisha was plowing a field in the twelveth set of oxen…the very last set. He was probably dirty, smelly, and not in the ideal spot to be deemed as the successor of such a powerful and Godly man.
Sometimes when a new chapter in life needs to start it’s not in ideal circumstances, it’s not on our terms. It’s not surrounded by diamonds and fanfare. Sometimes it’s messy, smelly, and we might even feel like we don’t deserve it.
His Obedience Was Immediate
Despite it not being the ideal situation, Elisha’s obedience was immediate. He asked to say bye to his mother and father, and then he did something I find so significant. He went back, took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them. Ok, let’s stop here and think about this. Elisha took his only means of making a living, his bread and butter, his livelihood, and burned it. He burned them. Do we really understand the significance of this? In order to step into the next chapter of life, we have to abandon our old chapter and give our next step 100%. We have to burn the past.
I’m not sure where you’re at in life today, but for me, 2017 was about burning the past, my last chapter, and stepping 100% into the next chapter. Maybe that’s a job, friends, a relationship, or just your physical location – it’s not too late to step into that new season you know you need to. For me, I let go of things I’ve been holding onto for years. It’s the famous saying, “the only thing holding you back is yourself” – how true is that statement.
This week, I’m going to continue to live 100%, working, producing, and striving for excellence. Yep, I’m going to mess up and fail, but sometimes failure equals movement.