Thursday, April 12, 2012
Go! Look Again!
It’s hard to accept failure or at least what we deem as failure. You have a perfect plan and you’re so pumped about it you can barely stand it. You’ve planned it out, written it down, told some friends and some family (you know the ones who support what you do no matter what). Yep, you know the economy is down. But you are assured that this business venture, this great idea to change or make something happen will come through if no other way but on the wings of pure enthusiasm. I mean you are convinced that it’s God given because it has never been clearer. And then it fails. It fails miserably. You plan an event and no one shows up; not even the ones you practically begged to come. The bank refuses the loan and commences to tell you why your idea is impossible. You start the group, move or program and absolutely nothing goes as intended. You look up to heaven as if God just played a cruel joke you on. You retreat for awhile and contribute it to a minor setback, regroup and try again. The defeat this time is staggering. Not only is this disheartening, it’s downright embarrassing. Surely everyone is either mocking you or pitying you. For me to tell you to try again sounds preposterous. It’s so easy for those resting on the sidelines with no vested interest to push you onward. There are few things more painful than utter letdown. Yet when you know that something is supposed to be it turns over in your heart repeatedly; you feel it tapping, tapping, begging to be given another chance. And you keep wondering what would happen if I try this thing one more time-- just one more time. Remember in scripture where Elijah had prayed and the land was void of rain for three years (I Kings 18:41)? I can only imagine that during the first year of the drought many are hopeful for the rain. It will come, after all, it always does. I can see them looking up toward the sky praying to their god hoping, wishing, knowing. By the third year hopelessness has set in and what they once held hope for seems like a ridiculous notion. Fate seems set. Many die. Many more will. God is against us rain may never come again! Elijah, the prophet comes back to town after three years and tells the King to get ready; there is a sound of abundance of rain. Sometimes the sound of change is inaudible to the naked ear but it is a knowing that cannot be shaken. There is not a clue, not a hint of rain in sight but Elijah tells his servant to go and look up toward the sky. Meanwhile he puts his face to the ground and prays. His servant returns. He sees nothing and hears even less. He tells the servant to go. Look again. Still nothing. And again…nothing. After that sixth time the repetition has become frustrating. But Elijah was still expecting, he’s still praying; remember he’d already heard the sound of abundant rain. It has been six times and nothing has changed. It was the seventh and final time when he saw it—a cloud, the size of a man’s hand. Change was already in place but he would not have seen it if he had not gone one more time. Don’t give up. Keep praying and then go. Look again.