“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 servant.”- 1 Kings 19:21
As Mark Batterson begins Chapter 6 (“Burn the Ships”) of All In, he tells the story of Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes’ arrival in Mexico. Although two previous expeditions had failed to establish a settlement in the New World, Cortes conquered large portions of the South American continent.
What Cortes is reported to have done after landing in Mexico turned his mission into an all-in proposition: he issued an order to burn the ships. Retreat no longer was an option. Most often, Pastor Batterson states, failure results when we resort to a back up plan when our original plan gets too risky. We don’t burn the ships. Plan A people, he states, don’t have a Plan B:
“There are moments in life when we need to burn the ships to our past. We do so by making a defining decision that will eliminate the possibility of sailing back to the old world we left behind.”
When Elisha burned his plowing equipment, that was his way of burning the ships. It was the end of Elisha the farmer and the beginning of Elisha the prophet. That first step always is the longest and hardest. We step forward into the future while eliminating the possibility of moving backward into the past.
Today’s question: What ships do you need to burn following your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “An ever present help”