Most everyone has a story about someone who has made a positive impact in their lives simply because they were willing to take time to invest in them. Most everyone believes that he or she has something someone else can learn from them in some area of life.
Yet, in many other ways, it is difficult for people to let go of roles and responsibilities they hold. And it is difficult to think of the possibility of being replaced – so instead we tend to try and hold and protect the roles and responsibilities we hold (and sometimes even resent those who will come after us). In some areas, we find it difficult to pass the torch.
Elijah, who served as a prophet to Israel in the Old Testament part of the Bible, faced the reality that his time would end and he would be replaced. In fact, God pointed out the person who would replace him and told Elijah to invest in him to prepare him. It becomes a “passing the torch” and “leaving a legacy” relationship that’s worth gleaning some wisdom from.
- Do you have someone who has invested in you to prepare you for life? If so, what has that meant to you?
- What were some of the challenges Elijah faced at this point in his life?
- How might Elijah have felt when God told him to anoint kings? Why might his have been a prestigious role?
- How might Elijah have felt when God told him to anoint Elijah to replace him as prophet?
- Why might it have been difficult for Elijah to let go of the role and responsibilities he held as God’s prophet?
- In what ways would it have been difficult for Elijah to know his time in his role would be coming to an end?
- What intentionality does it show that Elijah went and found Elisha? Why and in what ways does passing the torch require finding someone to pass the torch to?
- What benefits might there have been to Elijah not waiting until he was gone to invite Elisha to go with him?
- What factors do you see that would make Elisha not want to accept Elisha’s invitation?
- What factors keep you from investing in someone who will come after you in what you do?
- What factors keep you from seeking wisdom from those who have come before you in what you do?
- What next steps will you find, invite and invest in someone who will come after you in what you do?
It is difficult to let go! It is almost unfathomable to imagine being replaced. But each and every person will be replaced in what they do at some point. When it comes to this tension, there is a choice that is faced. We can lament and resist those who will come after us – or we can invest in and pass the torch to those who will come after us.
Today is Monday – make it a day you find, invite, and invest in someone who will come after you in what you do!