“Where are you?”~ God to AdamGenesis 3:9
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”1 Kings 19:9
When men feel threatened, we often follow the Way of Adam which leads towards passivity, avoidance and isolation. These threats cause men to feel shame, which causes men to retreat into isolation.
When Elijah was threatened, he too went the Way of Adam.
He was “afraid and ran for his life.” But his geographical running was not enough. He also ran from his friendships by abandoning the men who were traveling with him in order to go it alone. But his relational running was not enough. He also ran emotionally so that a fog of suicidal depression enveloped him: “[Elijah sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough Lord,’ Elijah said. ‘Take my life; I am not better than my ancestors.’”
At this point, Elijah retreats further until he hides himself in a cave. He has geographically, relationally, spiritually, emotionally and metaphorically hidden himself in utter darkness and loneliness…this is where the Word of the Lord appears to Elijah. A voice calls into the cave mouth saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Shame causes us men to retreat into the darkness of a cave, but the voice of the Lord challenges us to come forth, just like Jesus standing at the tomb of Lazarus shouting, “Lazarus, Come out.” The Word of the Lord calls Elijah out of the cave, and onto #TheEdge. God tells Elijah “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
It is here at the edge that men are called to stand.
The Edge is the place of liminality. It is a threshold moment in a man’s life where the limits of the known touch the unknown. These are the moments in which men are challenged, which produces a resiliency.
In weight lifting terms, it’s the place where that extra plate is set upon the bench rack to see if you can press a little bit more weight. The liminality of #TheEdge will rip the muscles apart, but in doing so will produce greater strength over time. Likewise, #TheEdge provides a place to test, rip and rebuild our emotional, spiritual, relational—along with physical—resiliency.
The Edge is when a man toes the start line of race wondering if he has the stamina to cross the finish.
The Edge is when a man stands before a woman pledging to love her in richness or poverty, sickness and health, to be faithful to her and her alone, to have fidelity in their relationship and to never forsake her. At this edge he is making a life-long promise when the unknowns of cancer, job-loss, depression, the blonde in the cubicle next him, children, and alcoholism may all lurk down the trail.
The Edge is when a man cradles his child unaware of what it will demand of him to be an active, engaged and present father.
The Edge is when a man accepts the job offer and wonders if he can “hack it in the real world.”
The Edge is when a man steps into the fray of life where we live and die each day.
The Edge is a place of vulnerability and vitality because it requires risk, courage and challenge. The Edge is the place where the illusion of control disolves because it is the frontier of the unknown. But at this threshold, is where God wants to place us so that a resilient faith is built instead of the illusion of our control.
So what are you doing hiding here? Get up and go to the Edge because the Lord is getting ready to pass by and beckon you to follow Him away from Adam and out of the shadows of Shame and onto the Way.