Elijah was a man of risk and adventure since he lived with God’s purpose in mind. Elisha watched Elijah do amazing things and in this passage he sees him taken into heaven in an extraordinary way. On a chariot of fire is an amazing way to go. Before he gets taken up, the story does come with a sense of Elisha wanting to be around Elijah all the time, and almost annoyingly so. Every time Elijah turns around and tells him to go home, Elisha just will not leave. It is like those moments you realize that a guest is at your house after the party ended…almost an hour ago. Elisha just would not leave Elijah alone. He wanted to experience what Elijah had with God, which is the effect of great people of faith on people in their communities.
Those who live God’s epic adventure tend to leave a lasting impression on those around them. Even when they are not around, you can see people want to emulate them or remember them. Elijah left such a deep impression on Elisha that Elisha just wanted to experience the epic adventure too. We have an opportunity when we follow God. He has an adventure for you and me. It is an adventure for all of us together. It is not for people to be alone or just you and God against the world. It’s about joining a community that is chasing God and trying to impact the world and prepare it for God’s return.
God draws us to live for Him so that He can draw others to live for Him. You might be like Elijah. You live epically. As a result you cannot shake the fans of your life. And you just want five minutes to step into a closet before someone asks you to share a bit of your life with them. It can be hard to be this kind of person because it requires that you give yourself to those who need you. You might be like Elisha, you want the life full of purpose and you looking at everyone else trying to find an example. God is bringing people to you who are able to train you to be giants and face impossible situations. If you are in this latter category, remember that you are calling risk on yourself. That is what the Elijah’s of our life know. God’s life is a call to risk and challenge. When Elisha asked Elijah for double of what God gave him, he probably knew about the duel with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, but he also remembered him running in fear from the death threat of Queen Jezebel. This life can be great, but it can be hard as well. It is a life of purpose, but it has obstacles. But the great thing about this life is reaching the end of your life and saying you lived a life worth living. Retirement, yachts, and cars will not point to a purpose driven life. It points to safety and comfort, but they in themselves are no measure of purpose and greatness. The even better thing about this is that it is never too late for anyone to join in. You could be 70 and retired and you could still take on this life of purpose. God has a plan for all ages.
If you are an Elijah, I know it can be draining to train everyone to live out God’s great plan, but just remember the more of you there are, the more effective the movement can be and the more times you will be able to retreat for five minutes and let someone cover for you. If you are an Elisha, prepare for the journey. Pray, read the Bible, find out about other great God-followers, practice spiritual disciplines, etc. Do things that will make you stronger and help you understand risk. Serve those who are more needy than you. Make your greatness not about you or another individual you think is great. Make it about God’s mission here on earth. Make greatness about loving God and others. God has the hero’s life planned for us. He wants to make us heroic.