Friday, October 16, 2009

Keep the Fire Burning?

“...if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?”  --Ecclesiastes 4:11

As I was preparing to build a fire in the fireplace on this chilly morning, I thought about what it takes to start and make a good fire, and how a fire burns more efficiently when two or more pieces burn together.  I don’t understand all the physics behind it, but they seem to ‘reflect’ the heat toward each other and help to sustain the fire hotter and longer.

Well, if you know me, although I tend to think concretely and wish I could think more abstractly on the spur of the moment, I also tend to ponder things and form analogies from the things I observe and experience.  Fire seeks to consume, and because it is a form of energy and is fluid, it moves.  I do know that much about physics.  The same is true with strong emotions moving within and between people, because emotions can be quite fluid... and consuming.

Anger consumes and destroys.  Proverbs 26:21 says, “As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife”.  One angry, bitter person can create a firestorm if others join him in his cause, and then they all end up getting burned.  Proverbs 22:24 says, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.”  Be careful to keep your distance from someone given to anger, lest you become fuel and begin to reflect it also.

While anger consumes and destroys, love provides life and healing.  1 John 3:16 says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren,” and Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good like a medicine”.  For love to spread, it must touch the lives of others, just as a fire needs fuel to continuously generate warmth and light.

What’s the difference between a fire providing warmth and comfort versus the raging, consuming firestorm resulting in destruction?  Caution and control.  If we recognize the flames for what they are and how they are used, we will recognize the danger when the flames move and spread, and we will prevent it from burning and destroying that which it was never intended to touch.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post, I love this blog. Rene is one of the most insightful 'wordsmiths' I have seen in a long time. If you follow this blogsite please encourage her to keep on writing. She is someone who has the opportunity to contribute greatly to American Literature.
    George Shuman.