Familiarity is like a warm blanket and a hot cup of coffee. I’m not talking about just any warm blanket. I’m talking about when you wake up on a Saturday morning and it’s cold and rainy outside. Just as your dreading the feeling of losing the covers you hear the dryer stop. That’s the kind of warm blanket I’m talking about; one that protects you from all the undesirable situations going on around you. And it’s not just any cup of coffee. It’s your favorite blend with just the right mixture of cream and sugar. It’s the cup that reminds you that whether on your own or through the magic of caffeine you can, in fact, adult today!
There’s something to be said for the feeling of security found in the known. It’s definitely a feeling of comfort and ease when you walk through your day knowing what to expect and how to navigate it. I think about completely full and color-coded calendars. I can glance at it and know where I am supposed to be and when I should be there. I can prepare my steps and walk through a calculated plan that ends with me feeling accomplished and productive.
Then there is the other side. There is the unknown. The world outside of our walls and our control. The world that challenges us to think on the spot and be wise to the signs of the times. It’s in those times we feel a little less like “adulting” and more like hiding under our beds with the previously mentioned blanket regardless of its current temperature.
I wonder what it would look like if we went the other way? What if we looked at the unknown as an opportunity instead of some monster that was ready to devour us and all of our best-laid plans.
1 Kings 19:14-21 is the story of Elijah calling Elisha to follow him and be his apprentice. Elijah finds Elisha out in a field doing something he was very familiar with, plowing with a team of oxen. Elisha’s response to Elijah’s call to embrace the unknown is amazing. He takes his plow and burns it. He slaughters his oxen and roasts them over the burning wood and feeds the meat to his family and friends at what is basically his farewell party. Then he leaves his home and goes into the service of Elijah with no promises or guarantees, only the call to follow. Elisha experiences this call from God through Elijah and immediately sets the familiar ablaze trading his comfort for a pile of ash and a steak dinner. Elisha would go on to become one of the greatest prophets ever known turning many people back to the heart of God. None of that could have happened had he stayed wrapped in that warm blanket of security sipping a latte.
Here’s the truth; the warmth eventually wears off, the cup turns cold, and the path you keep traveling grows deeper and deeper with the ruts of routine. If you want to see God do something amazing in your life you must take the first step of faith and allow Him to shake things up a little bit. I know it sounds scary and usually looks more than a little crazy, but look on the bright side, if you follow Elisha’s example, you can at least get a steak dinner and a party out of it!
What step of faith is God asking you to take?