We heat our home with a woodstove, and supplement with a furnace. This means that every day for about half the year I have to build, and keep, a fire going. I’ve been doing this for three years, and have learned a few tricks along the way about building a fire – which pieces of wood work best for starting, which ones burn hot, how to arrange them, how to tinker with the flue etc.
Apparently it takes me three years of seeing something every day to really “see” it.
Last week I was struggling to keep the fire going. I started it in the morning, and then headed off to another part of the house to homeschool, or clean the kitchen or something – by the time I wandered back into the living room the fire was smoldering. So I started it up once more – a few pieces of tinder and paper and it was burning again. I went off and came back an hour later to find only a few glowing coals. This pattern repeated itself all day and into the night.
And while I sat there trying, again, to get this fire really going, it struck me: a fire needs fuel. If I want to be “on fire” for God – that fire needs fuel, too
How many times have I prayed for more passion in my relationship with God? How many times have I lamented the feeling that it had gone cold?
And while the answer may be overly simplistic, the question still needs to be asked: Have I been feeding the fire?
Well, honestly? Not enough.
I wanted God to work some sort of magic that made me feel emotionally passionate about Him, without investing in that change myself. I wanted to be able to throw a few pieces of tinder on the fire, light it up and have it burn strong all day (or week), without any more of my attention.
I want to give my energy to all the details and distractions of life without that fire going cold.
Though it’s embarrassing to admit, I never saw it before.
Father, what can I say? You are most important to me – the sweetest part of my life, and yet I neglect you. I am a hypocrite and incurable by my own efforts. I feel the pull of a hundred different distractions every moment of the day, and I surrender to them. Instead of attending to the details of life with your strength and perspective, I push you aside and try to do things myself – and then I fail at everything. I fail to do things well or with a pure heart, and I fail to involve you in my life.
I want to burn for you – to be a light for your glory. I want to be consumed with passion for you. I don’t want to be a flickering candle, or smoldering coals. I want to be a bonfire – I want your light to shine through me into this dark world. I want the fire of our relationship to warm and encourage those around me.
Help me, Lord, for I don’t know the way. I don’t know how live any differently than I do now, only that I must. Open my eyes to see the path ahead, and strengthen my will and resolve to follow it. Above all, I desire you.