MONDAY MEDITATION: Now What? (February 24, 2020)

At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” — 1 Kings 19:9

Of the many shared experiences we have in life, asking “Now what?” is one of the most common.

We ask that after epoch-marking events.  Some are positive. Your child leaves for college. You get the promotion. You retire. Some are negative. A loved one dies. A relationship dies. Your health wavers.

Regardless, life as we know it screeches to a halt, and we peer into an uncertain future. Now what?

My house has grown quiet since retiring from pastoral ministry. Time slows. It’s sort of like being in a cave…

…which is where the prophet Elijah found himself. He had plummeted from the high of success to the low of being a fugitive with a price on his head. He dealt with it by running away, first to the wilderness and then to the silence of the cave.

It’s noteworthy that in each leg of his journey, he was given something. An angel gives him food and water. God gives him a fireworks show then, of ultimate importance, that sound of silence.

I’m finding it quite tempting to answer “Now what?” by coming up with a list of things to do. Elijah didn’t do that. He just went on a road trip then stopped. In stopping, he began perceiving things differently.

If you were to characterize the prophet’s emotional state, it would be “listless.” Not real passionate about anything. A bit lethargic.

But “listless” could also be understood as “list-less.” You’ve given up trying to control the future by the list of activities you come up with today. List-less means you’re open and vulnerable to whom and what lies ahead.

Maybe the best way to deal with your “Now what?” is to wait for the future to give you the answer. For the voice to come in the sound of silence.

5 thoughts on “MONDAY MEDITATION: Now What? (February 24, 2020)”

  1. Praying for you, Greg. Praying that God’s vision for you will become clear, and that His original calling willbe fulfilled in new, wonderful ways.

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  2. I think there are times when we have to find a cave. At around 3:00 AM on christmas morning in 2016 I received a call from a friend in England. I had been thrashing around all night due to poitical despair. Bresit had her in turmoil. In angst we both agreed to look for a cave where we might be safe. Suday night my cave became recorded movies rather than live TV. Ahhhh solace!!!

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  3. Change is never easy .. and each and every time I have gone though ‘change’ I can not think of one single time when I haven’t asked “Now What”.. we live in a busy world where everything seems to happen instantly and so we feel the pull to know in a moment what we are to do next or in our daily “busyness of our lives”, as Pastor Peich brought to my attention in his sermon last Sunday…. Maybe we need to just quiet ourselves and wait.. wait and listen.. be still for 15 minutes and listen for God’s direction, be it in the busyness of daily activity of too many things on our ‘to do lists’ or in the quiet stillness of accepting a new beginning after so many years of what it is we felt called to do in our career, or in the sudden drastic loss of a loved one or relationship. In the safety of our “cave” be still and listen for the words.. ..I am God. I shall always be with you. God is always with us if we are patient and listening. This much I have learned over the years in my faith journey. In Gods timing you shall come to “it”.

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