If there was one word that could be used to define our culture today, it would be options.
Just give me choices! I don’t want one or two flavours of ice cream to choose from, but a whole freezer full of all types of flavours.
I want to leave my options open and wait till the last minute to make a final decision. And even then, I like to leave the door ajar just in case I want to slip back through if things don’t quite work out the way I thought.
But there are times in life that God calls us to close the doors behind us. Rather than keeping our options open, there are those times where we need to burn our bridges to the familiarity of the past and cross over into the unknown.
Elisha was plowing his field when the prophet Elijah came and placed his cloak on him, signalling a life altering change in direction. It was a pivotal moment that caused him to make a decision that would impact the rest of his life. Elisha realised the gravity of the situation and that there was no middle ground to be found here.
Once he made his decision, Elisha made it final by ‘burning his bridges’ to his former life so he could be free to step into the next:
‘So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant’ – 1 Kings 19:21 (NLT)
Elisha’s choice to pursue the one thing that was most valuable to him led him to close the door to every other option. There was no turning back, no looking behind, no indecision. He was free to give everything to this one thing.
Sometimes we think that keeping our options open is the definition of freedom. But true freedom is found in limiting our options so we can give everything to the one thing that matters most.
What bridges in your life might the Holy Spirit be asking you to burn? What doors are you keeping slightly ajar? Burning your bridges might be the secret to the freedom you have been looking for all along!