Elijah was a super prophet. Elisha was a super prophet in training. And his time was coming.
But he was afraid he’d get left out in the cold if he missed the opportunity to be the next prophet. IN this week's Bible reading from 2 Kings 2:1-6, 6-14, Elisha didn’t think he would succeed as a prophet if he didn’t have at least double what Elijah had. Elisha was afraid and self conscious.
One time, a bunch of children were making fun of Elisha by calling him ‘baldy.’
He called a she-bear out of the woods and it mauled all the boys.
Elisha had an issue with the way he looked. He had an issue with anger, too,
To be fair, it's also possible that Elisha was really just highly motivated and wanted to not only take over for Elijah, but to be even better. In his lifetime, Elisha did some great things as a leader and as a prophet.
But the insecure, self conscious, and angry leader is a whole lot more realistic picture of a human being.
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Leaders come from all walks of life. Leaders come with all kinds of gifts and shortcomings. Leaders succeed. Leaders make mistakes.
Leaders get to be human.