[Elisha] used wood from
the plow to build a fire.
—1 Kings 19:21
“Burn the boats” comes from a legend of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés ordering his men to burn their boats, eliminating the possibility of retreat in their conquest of the Aztec empire. The story is questionable.
But a story in 1 Kings 19 is unquestionable. God told the prophet Elijah to tap Elisha as his successor. While Elisha was plowing his field, Elijah approached and wrapped his cloak around him, signifying the passing of the baton.
Elisha eliminated the possibility of turning back by destroying the tools of his livelihood: killing his oxen and burning his plow.
Jesus said that anyone puts their hand to the plow in kingdom work, and then turns back is not fit for service (Lk 9:62).
Discipleship comes with a price. You may need to burn some of your boats.
Every choice has a consequence.