But I digress. As we were getting the house ready for small group tonight, as is my custom, I got a fire going in the fireplace. I love fire. I think most guys do. I've been around many a campfire in my day and just the atmosphere of a fire can both embolden men and melt them into blubbering idiots. It has a magical affect. I can see it in my boys - from a very early age - guys are completely fascinated by fire. How many female arsonists have you ever heard of? Thought so.
I wonder what it is? Maybe we have a survivalist, primordial, pre-societal manly instinct somewhere deep inside us that gets us in touch with something deep inside when we see fire. A zombie-like mixture of respect and curiosity takes over us. In a way it's like watching a life force. Building a fire is even better - taking a small flame and crafting a pile of paper and wood in such a way that the flame progresses through the layers into a raging, self-sustaining inferno. I can watch a fire for hours.
More than some male instinct though- I think fire has a lot of spiritual analogy. Watching it is like watching a microcosm of the Christian life. Starting with a spark, building to that instant inferno when the kindling and conditions are just right, leveling out into a steady burn, threatening extinction when wood isn't added or stoking isn't properly applied. There are also scriptural references to fire...
- God is described as a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:28-29)
- Fire is the end that awaits this earth and everything in it (2 Peter 3:10)
- Peter's betrayal and ultimately his renewal occured next to a charcoal fire (John 21:9)
- Paul encourages Timothy to treat his ministry like a flame that needs fanned (2 Timothy 1:6)
And there are many more - we have a lot to learn from fire. I'm going to be done now and go sit next to my fireplace with Kim and enjoy the rest of the night...