Friday, March 14, 2008

Why Do Guys Like Fire So Much?

We just got done having small group tonight. It was a fascinating study. We're going through Galatians - and tonight we were in Galatians 2. We talked about the deadly affects of hypocrisy in the church and studied the big confrontation between Paul and Peter. Galatians 2 is fascinating in light of Acts 10 and Acts 15. The first big church fight was over hypocrisy. How ironic - since it is still the main issue that causes people to not be interested in church. USA Today reported that the same percentage of Americans (72%) who believe in God also believe that the church is full of hypocrites. Check out the article.

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...

3 comments:

rachel said...

I've been thinking about fire a lot too lately - because of a line in a worship song...

"eyes like fire" . . . "full of love" . . .

Imagining God's eyes of fire and love beckoning me to worship Him and drawing me to Himself... it's so powerful I can barely contain myself!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a girl and I love fireplaces and campfires. I'm definitely not an arsonist but I still like fire. I think its a human thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm a woman and I like fires too, but my husband is really into building them. I like watching/cooking with fires more than building fires. My husband gets obsessive about building it just right. I don't dare try to stoke our fireplace because he says I'll just kill it. I think building fires is a guy thing.