We have been thinking lately about Seasons. Late time out, we looked at Change and the things that make for our maximizing of them.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines change as:
: a difficult or dangerous situation that needs serious attention
Or in simpler terms, A crisis is any change not prepared for.
For instance; a worker who is suddenly laid off at work. A student who suddenly hears an announcement for an assessment in course. Or a hospital overwhelmed as a result of a disease outbreak or some other natural disaster.
Meanwhile, some crises could be on the positive end of the scale or precipitate from generally positive causes.
Change happens all the time. We aren’t always ready. This then becomes a crisis. Because now we must respond, but unfortunately, we often have no idea how to. More often than not, we revert to any default settings we have in our minds or our environment.
2 Kings 6:5
But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
The full story is seen from verses 1 to 7 of the current chapter. In summary, the sons of the prophet went out with the prophet Elisha. It was a field day. So of course the men got down to work. And then the unimaginable happened, an Axe head found its way into a body of water.
And the man cried: Alas! You must understand the man’s predicament. It was a borrowed Axe head. Remember that it was a metallic Axe, so for all intents and purposes, that axe head was gone, sunken to the floor of the River Jordan. Now if the axe was his, that would not have been a problem. But unfortunately, it was borrowed and now irretrievably lost. It was a bad day. Hence, he shouted Alas. What would he do?
Of what use is an Axe, without an Axe head? I mean, an Axe is an Axe because of the head. This was trouble.
I don’t know what your axe head is, but could it be that you have lost it, even amidst the current busyness, even in the arena of rightful use because of one wild swing, a misturn, some negligence. Remember though it was in your hands, it was not yours, it was only a trust. And now you have lost it or so it seems. You dare not return empty-handed, without results, with excuses. What to do?
In the cry of the Man, we see the first point in our response to a crisis. He cried, Alas, Master. It is to recognize that there is a Master. And we must turn our attention quickly and immediately to Him. He must be our frame of reference. We must endeavor to remember him in our thoughts. Our default setting should be centered on him.
Then next, it is to articulate clearly the problem. Sometimes when we get into a fix, into some challenging situation, more often than not we call it all kinds of other names, say all kinds of other things, without facing up to the real issue. We must be sincere and honest. We must be open. We should be intentional about seeking help.
2 Kings 6:6-7
And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
Where fell it? This is key in dealing with crises. Where did things go wrong? Previously we dealt with: What went wrong. Now it’s where. Because often, in the resolution of a crisis, we must take into account the context of the crisis, either in onset or its propagation.
Then lastly, responsibility. The man of God caused the axe-head to float. But he didn’t pick it up for the man. The man did that himself. We must be prepared to participate in the resolution of the crisis. We have a part to play. And we should be prepared to do so.
The Ax head will float again. But are we ready?