I am always looking for programming ideas in strange places. Anything that can give me inspiration to fill 2-3 minutes on a Wednesday Night or something more in depth to create a series for a Speaking engagement. I recently picked up a book of 211 random things to do to kill time. This book contains some very useful stuff for an individual stricken with major A.D.D. While flipping the pages I came across a section titled; “How to Build a Camp Fire.” Recollecting back to my own experiences, it seemed simple. A bunch of wood gathered in the woods, dry leaves, matches and 5 cans of lighter fluid for a quick and instant fire. I was surprised to read that there was actually a method to building a camp fire. Literally, page after page diagrammed in depth instructions on picking a safe spot, building a pit, gathering 5 to 6 different types of wood, methodology on how to stack it, different ways of lighting it and not once did I come across my method: Gather, Douse and Burn.
Then it hit me, the spiritual application. I recall the fire’s we had created with our quick and easy method didn’t last long. The lighter fluid would burn up way too fast and every few minutes or so, we would have to squirt more fluid on the fire (Not Recommended for Safety Reason. Burnt eyebrows smell bad and look even worse). But how true is it that many of us go through life with “Lighter Fluid Christianity” as our path. We don’t have time to do it the right way so we take short cuts to get where we need to be. In reality though, just like a fire with lighter fluid enhancement gives the appearance of a healthy fire, it only lasts a short time because it didn’t penetrate the inside of the wood. The appropriate steps to build a lasting fire were forsaken for the quick and easy way.
I must confess that I carry around more cans of lighter fluid in my spiritual life than I should. I can make my fire look big and bright by just a simple douse when needed at the right times but my inner flame is really just a flicker, one puff away from totally fizzling out. I believe that is one of the applications of what Jesus said when he stated, “the path is narrow.” Only a few will actually take the time to follow the instructions by the book, methodically processing each step and then moving on to the next until the final goal is achieved. My God, I pray for a lasting flame inside my heart. One that I can be proud of after looking back and knowing I did everything you asked instead of taking the quick and easy way. After all, it’s about an inner lasting not an external appearance.