He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.” vs. 211 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Elijah was the first of the prophets to appear in the ancient stories that were so cherished by the Israelites. People loved to read about his exploits as a defender of the faith during the time of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. But as the years passed and he got older the Lord gave him a plan of succession. Elisha, the son of a farmer, would become prophet to Israel in his stead. As the story was told, Elisha’s appointment was a surprise, an abrupt change in his life that involved leaving his father and mother, and it meant making a symbolic good-bye to farming. So he kills the oxen, boils the flesh, and feeds it to the people. He’d never plow again! Instead he becomes Elijah’s servant, and later on his successor. His story reminds us that sometimes, in the course of living out our calls as God’s people, there’ll be times for saying good-byes. We leave jobs, families, and beloved communities to serve in new and different ways. And even though it’s difficult when we have to burn bridges, our hearts tell us to go, and so we do, trusting that the Spirit will be our Comforter and our Guide.
Thought for the Day: What’s the toughest good-bye I’ve ever made?