Musings, Stories From The Book

Fear, Success and A Fire-Bending Old Man

Have you ever been on a high? I mean like one freaky period where EVERYTHING you do just seems to work out. You’ve got your ICAN exams? Boom! You smash it! Presentation and final defense? Cleared and to top it all your small online business starts looking like it will at least stop making you go broke from losses every other week. Maybe you have though less dramatically, me gan I feel that I’m on a roll if I can just get a free ride home 3 times a week. If you have then you can relate to this and if you feel your life is going downhill maybe this can make you feel better.

You’ve probably heard the name Elijah… Not Klaus’ creepy brother, the first and the original, fire-calling, Baal slaying bald-headed old man Elijah. Elijah was a prophet in ancient Israel and depending on who was ruling that could be a fun job or really deadly business. Of course, it was majorly deadly stuff. I want to talk about a part in his life that often gets glossed over in discussions.

Towards the end of his active ministry (Disclaimer: My source is only the most sold book in all history, the bible) Elijah had seen a lot, he had performed various miracles including a never-ending source of oil, causing heavy metal to float and prayed for a three-year drought… No drop of rain for a three-year period in Israel, this is where my story starts.

Now Elijah’s on a roll, he just left Mount Carmel with his sword stained with the blood of 450 false prophets, people who convinced commoners to offer their children on altars as burnt offering, who cut themselves as a form of worship to a “god” thirsty for human blood. Guys who fortunately could no longer twist people to go against the one true life-giving God. Elijah had faced these “prophets” in a one-on-four hundred battle. The one who could call fire from heaven wins, he won.

The queen who was the chief manipulator and bankroller of the prophets got mad and swore to kill Elijah… Elijah who had just called fire from heaven. Something that happens to all us of when we are on a roll happened to Elijah then, he asked himself as we do, “What if I fail? What if I was just lucky? Maybe I didn’t deserve to win that competition? Or get good grades despite being busy?” Then he ran. Our man ran away to the wilderness out of fear.

From then we rarely hear of Elijah till it comes his time to leave earth. His fear during a high time, that insecurity that he could not possibly survive, that he didn’t deserve to be preserved was his undoing. God made him anoint his successor after this period of doubt and fear, ending a good career that could have still gone further if fear not cut it short. The next time we see Elijah in active play his life was still guided by fear, King Ahaziah had summoned him to be escorted by a captain of 50 soldiers, out of fear he called fire down on the 50 men in protest. A second batch was sent to him only to meet the same gruesome death. It took the assurances of an angel that he would not be harmed to allow him to be escorted to meet the king.

How hungry are you to fulfill your utmost potential? When the successes start rolling in will you let doubt cloud you, fear shake you and cause you to fall? Or will you take root in an identity that comes from He who has called you, and promises to be there every time and every day. The surest way to not succeed and not make progress even when you fall is to never try again.

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