No, not the 70’s R&B group

Do you ever just get to the end of your rope?  Go searching for answers and just feel you’re done, there’s no hope and you’re ready to call it a day in the largest way possible?  Yeah, me neither, except there’s this pretty good story about a guy we’ll call Elijah (cause that’s his name).  Here’s a bit of it.

Elijah was what we’d call a “good soldier” today.  He had his affiliations (not in line with what was popular however) and he acted on his loyalties (unlike a lot of us today).  The thing is, these actions got him in trouble.  In fact he was in so much trouble there was a price on his head and a vow made by the biggest, baddest organization in the land that they’d off him by the end of the next day.  So, he bolted.

He went as far as he could, into the wilderness.  He traveled 40 days away by foot, probably around 1,400 miles if we assume three miles an hour, walking 12 hours a day.  That’s about like walking from Omaha to San Francisco; a long way.  And what did he do when he got there?  Easy, he hid in a cave and waited for further instructions!  The deal was, they didn’t come in the form you might think.

First there was a windstorm so violent it actually tore rocks loose near the cave.  Then there was an actual earthquake (maybe he was in San Francisco) and after that a fire came roaring through but he didn’t see or hear any message in any of these nearly-cataclysmic events.  Yet, somehow, in the aftermath of the fire there was a whisper.  It was the message he was looking for and it asked him what he was doing there.  So he explained.  And then, then, he got his marching orders.

He got clear instructions from his leader so he went out and got busy building again.  There’s something in his story that we ought to pay attention to as we go about doing what we do.  The true direction we ought to be heading might not come from all the noise and the stuff around us or even what we’re really enamored with today.  The message we need comes in the stillness, maybe when neither us, nor anyone else, is looking.

Think about your life for a bit.  Is there a lot swirling around you every day?  Does technology, social media, expectations and distraction tear at you?  Does it pull you in a million ways until it feels like each of those things are each whooshing away a part, maybe just a little bit of who you are or who you want to be?  Yeah, me neither.  And do the things of this earth, the materialistic things, the money or the activities (no matter how good) seem to keep shifting around until you can’t be sure what you’re chasing?  Is it a new job, a new car, a new relationship, a new fitness or shape?  Finally, do all these things and others seem to consume you?  Is your passion or desire burning you up from the inside out and the pursuit of it all controlling you even while it and the other two don’t seem to give you the meaning you thought they would, the meaning you know you need?  Right again, me neither.  Maybe we need a different approach to this thing.

Maybe we need to shut some things down.  Maybe we need to get away (not necessarily to an actual cave, but maybe sort of like one).  Maybe if we get there and we sort of ease into the quiet, the stillness, maybe if we listen, we’ll hear some good instructions.  Elijah, the guy on the run for his life, sure did.  In fact once he got his direction, he went out and crafted a new nation.  I imagine if we slow down, if we listen a bit, we just might hear a small voice, maybe even a whisper, telling us the direction we should go.

Give it a try.  You’ve really only got noise and the stuff of the world fueled by your own unquenchable desires, to lose.

I think we all find ourselves weary of the pursuit from time to time and we question what it’s all for, what it’s all about.  I hope Elijah’s story can serve as a reminder to allow yourself some space and time to retreat if only to listen for that important whisper.

Every week I write about life stuff and sometimes I refer back to the bible for some lessons I think it holds.  If you would like to read more of this type of post or my other writing you can do that at my blog.  Click here to go to the home page.  if you liked this or what you read there I hope you’ll subscribe.  Subscribing is free and means you’ll get an email on Sundays with links to my writing that week.  Nothing more of less, I promise.  I never sell or share emails.  To subscribe from here, click this.