Monday, January 24, 2011


On the Trail with Stephen Bly
Copyright© 2008

A farmer back in the 1840s had never seen a real, live elephant. So, when a circus was advertised in a nearby county, he loaded his wagon with eggs and veggies and headed for the market near the event. En route, he met the circus parade led by the elephant. The sight enchanted the farmer, but  terrified his horses. They bucked, pitched, overturned the wagon and ran away. His goods scattered. The farmer got tossed on the ground. 

Wagon broke, horses lost, merchandise ruined, the bruised old man limped home on foot. When his family and friends gathered to console him about his bad fortune, he said, “But you don’t understand, I’ve seen the elephant!”

That phrase resonated in the gold fields of California.  Not all those 400,000 seekers called 49ers, who dug out a mere few dollars in the gold or geode fields, bemoaned their fate. After all, they headed west for the adventure, “to see the elephant.”

What a wonder to stand in the spot where you realize history’s happening.
That sense of wonder surrounded Jesus’ every step of ministry. That’s why tough fishermen like Peter, James and John responded to his call: 

“At once they left their nets and followed him” (Mark 1:18).

They had no idea what might happen next. Or the results for themselves. But they sensed the miracle of the moment. They followed Jesus to. . .well. . .”see the elephant.” He was historic beyond imagination.

This is the exciting part. Jesus still calls us to do something important for him. There’s a lot of history yet to be written on the spiritual frontier. Maybe it’s your turn. Or someone close to you. To enter a cause bigger and better than anything you’ve ever known. . .the size of a proverbial elephant.


What's the closest you've ever gotten to being part of a truly historic event?


Happening May 2011:
release of Throw The Devil Off The Train
She longs to the arms of her fiancé. He seeks revenge for his brother's cruel death. But something evil's aboard on that long train ride headed west.  


Caitlin Horton said...

This was a really inspiring post and made me think about my "seeing the elephant" moment in life.

I would say the closest I've ever gotten to being part of a historic event was when I stood in an airport for several hours to greet Miss Millicent Young, WWII WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) when she was returning from Washington, DC, with a medal of honor for her service. There were some female Airforce service members and Vietnam veterans there and I remember that one veteran made absolutely certain that I got to go up, introduce myself, and shake her hand. It was a wonderful historic moment for me =)!

Stephen Bly said...

Caitlin: Love your story! Thanks for sharing with us!