Sunday, February 19, 2017

Substance Sunday: Tend To The Fire or Walk Away

As I was walking my acreage behind my home, I was talking to God like I normally do.  I was asking him to guide me, to bless everything around me, and thanking him for this mighty life he has given me.  When I was pulled to the burn pile.

The burn pile is in the middle of our acreage that I walk around daily.  A while back, we burned it.  All left now is a charred pile of dirt.    I thought it was weird to go look at the pile, but I went and sat down outside of it and stared, thinking what now.  The chickens started clucking behind me and were curious to what in the world I was doing, as was I.

I picked up a charred piece of wood and I started digging for worms and other fun bugs to feed the chickens for a little treat and my thoughts drifted as I looked around at the ground around me.

In the midst of the burn pile, green grass was sprouting through it.  Life had begun to emerge from the ashes and I found it oddly calming.  I had been out there the day we lit the pile on fire and it burned for hours, devouring everything under it, shooting flames so high and crackling as each piece of wood and brush gave in to the heat.  After the initial burning it smoldered for days and I could not have ever imagined life could ever be sustained again under that charred pile.  But it is, life is taking over.

Pondering this revelation, I could feel God talking to me through this very unusual place to give me a lesson.  Our lives are like this pile.  We are consumed with fire at times and it overtakes us.  A loss of someone we love, a loss of a job, a divorce, or something as little as a lie.  During these moments the fire is so hot it burns right through us, it takes away our oxygen, and we crack under the pressure of the fire.  We can't even imagine how we are going to ever enjoy life again without feeling the burn.

I picked up a piece of the charred wood so black you couldn't see any color and started to dig some more.  The piece of charred wood broke from the pressure, but inside was this beautiful gray color with light reflecting off the outside and revealing some sparkle in it.  I just sat and crumbled it in my hand, contemplating the unlikely beauty found inside.
  We all have charred edges from every disappointment, broken heart, loss, but inside our hearts are still beating, sending life throughout our bodies.  As time goes by that life starts to heal us a little, those big burns get smaller, but they never go away leaving a charred exterior with a miraculous sparkle inside us.  The fire may take us over initially but eventually it just simmers and one day we wake up and we let ourselves live again and breath by breath and just as the green grass emerges over the pile, our life begins to spring up inside us day by day. 
God sent me to the burn pile, he entered my thoughts and taught me that I can feed that fire and keep it burning, but I will have to tend to it day and night, never letting the flame go out.  It will take a lot of energy and time to keep that fire burning and it will entail poking and providing all the oxygen I have to keep that pain inside me lit. Little by little it will burn so hot it will continue to prevent life from taking hold and grow again.   Or I can let the fire consume me all at once but after it is lit I can walk away and invest my light and energy elsewhere.  The fire that is raging now will slowly die down, crumbling into a smolder, and one day it will go out, never to return.  It is my choice. I am in control.   Stay in the fire or walk away.

I want to always choose to walk away from the pain, the disappointment, the fire knowing life will again bloom around all my charred pieces and when I break, the light will reflect inside all those broken pieces, sparkling throughout me and beauty will once again arise out of the ashes.