Burn The Plow

Saturday - Day 2 of my "retreat"

Tossing and turning most of the night - I don't typically sleep well the first night anywhere.
Foreign sounds have me listening for more.  My mind not shutting down.  God continually on my heart as I sleep.  Daybreak begins to light up the room from the glass above the doors that lead out to the back sanctuary.  I open the blinds to reveal the backyard which is calling my name.

My dining experience  for the morning would have been much better if I had not started my keto diet the week before.  I am determined to lose 40 lbs and I was not going to use my retreat as an excuse to stop it.  Despite the wonderful pre-made meals that have been provided... most would not be keto friendly.  Being prepared, I pull my prepackaged plastic wrapped ham and egg omelette from the Atkins Packaging, slit the plastic, and place into the microwave.  3 minutes later, I am enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee along side my gourmet meal.

After finishing my meal, I find myself quietly sitting on the couch reading from the Psalms and the new book,  Greater, I have started reading.  While reading, I come across something that changed the course of my weekend.

"Burn The Plow"

Steven Furtick, author of the book Greater, uses the historical figure of Elisha throughout the course of his book.  I am sure everyone reading this probably knows the story, but for those that may not.... here it goes.

Elisha was simply minding his own business plowing fields with his team of oxen along with a number of other individuals.  Out of the blue comes this guy named Elijah who happens to be a big name in the OT.  Elijah tells Elisha to follow him.  I can only assume Elisha knows of Elijah or perhaps he was just that persuasive, but Elisha wants to kiss his family good by first.  Elijah respond effectively... do what you must. Elisha then does the unthinkable... He kills and prepares a meal with the oxen and "burns his plow".

The point the author makes here is Elisha made a conscious decision to remove any doubt of his commitment and his ability to return to a livelihood he was obviously comfortable with and knowledgeable of .  He jumped into the deep end with both feet and didn't worry about a life preserver.

How does this relate to me?  Why was this so impacting?  You see, I try to carry too much of my junk with me.  I haven't done a good job at burning my plows.   In this case, Elisha didn't really know what he was getting into.  He simply knew he was being called for something greater than plowing fields.

What I really felt God telling me this weekend was that before He shows me what is next... I have to be willing to burn some plows.  I have to be willing to burn the past hurts.  I have to be willing to burn the past failures.  I have to be willing to burn some present activities.  Basically.... I have to make room for God. 

The rest of the weekend was spent pondering this... A couple hours on trails, another great meal, more reading, more prayer, more worship.   I finished the evening switching from Psalms to Proverbs.  I finished reading from a quiet main floor room in a cozy recliner. 

The next morning I woke up rested and challenged...


  1. Wow, Ryan, this was quite the revelation for you! We definitely do need to take time to reflect on what plows we are stubbornly holding on to that keep us from having a closer relationship with God. No, that's not easy, but like so many things we are called to on our Christian journey, it is necessary.
    So glad you had a much more restful night on Saturday!

    1. I definitely had a better feeling coming out of the weekend than going in. Thank you for your prayers going into the weekend. Much appreciated!

  2. I think it is good that you stir up your time alone with some outside reading. It is one thing to read the Bible (and that is very good) but some outside reading always stirs the soul. As I was reading this I began to ask about the plows I might need to burn.

    1. I think it is good as well. Obviously you cannot treat any other book with the same authority... But it is good to sharpen oneself with the iron of others. I personally think the question is worth pondering for most. I suspect most people have a plow to burn somewhere.


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