This story is from 18 February 2014:
One day Stephen the gazelle walked over to a group of other gazelle and said “Shall we run?”
All the other gazelle began to bounce up and down in excitement and with shining eyes began to shout and sing “Whoo-hoo, yeah, let’s run, we want to run, running is what we do, man! Oh wow, let’s go right now, let’s run, let’s run, let’s run, we can’t wait! Go, go, go, go, what’s the delay?”
“Hold it,” said Stephen, “We should ask the elephants. It’s only polite, they’re our friends, we live here together on this plain.” “Huh,” said the other gazelle, “good luck with that one!” “Aw, come on,” said Stephen, “We should give them a chance. Everyone can change, remember.”
Stephen went over to where the elephants were lying, asleep, in the middle of the dirt road which ran, straight as a die, toward the far horizon.
“Hi guys,” said Stephen, brightly, “Me and the others are going to run. Come with us, it’s going to be totally fantastic!” Snoring, deep, loud elephant snoring, was all that Stephen could hear. He went to each elephant in turn, lifting up huge, grey ear flaps and shouting “Hey, come and run with us, it’s going to be great! Come on, let’s go!” Nothing.
Stephen tried everything: he pushed, he tickled, he kicked, he even jumped up and down on those sleeping elephants. Nothing, no response. He lifted an elephant eyelid and blew in. Nope. Nil, zilch, nada.
Wait! He could hear it! A great big huge, loud elephant yawn. A pair of massive elephant eyes slowly opened.
“Beat it!” the owner of the eyes grunted to Stephen, “We’re not interested in your stupid gazelle games.” And with that the snoring began again in earnest.
Stephen walked back over to the other gazelle, who were still bouncing up and down in excitement. His heart was overwhelmed with sadness. Soft gazelle tears began to drop to the ground. He turned to look back at all the huge rumbling, grunting grey lumps asleep on the road and waited a moment. Finally, Stephen breathed a huge sigh. He took a massive breath, filled his lungs with the fresh, clean air of the plains and yelled to the other gazelle “Come on, let’s run, let’s run, let’s RUN and RUN and RUN!”
With that the whole group of gazelle tore off towards the horizon, leaping and yelling and singing with such excitement, blazing on at an incredible speed. Back on the road a grey eyelid half-opened at the noise. “Harrumph!” And the snoring returned…
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6:66)
Gazelle? Or elephant…?
So, what about all of us? Do we truly want to run after God with absolutely everything that we are? To live exactly as God intended us to live, every single moment of every single day?
For Joanna and I that’s s big challenge at the moment. We could easily move to France and just enjoy living in a wonderful country, quietly forgetting, or downsizing, the vision that God has given us. Please pray for us, that we’d stay true to God’s vision and keep running and running and running and running…