Monday, May 10, 2010

Building a fire - Small sticks

These are just some thoughts I'd had while camping recently concerning how to build the fire of God in your life. Read part 1 here.


To say that the kids and I scavenged for sticks is putting it mildly. I even hung off a steep hill clutching a fence to stay upright while reaching with my foot for a larger stick (the crowning jewel of the stick world). I got it too. :)

And actually my very first fire was just small sticks. That's all we had so I gathered as much as possible with my two semi-willing recruits and then we made fire.

Within 5 minutes I knew my little sticks were not quite up to par. I spent the next 10 minutes no where near the fire as I searched for something, anything, to keep my little fire afire. Coming back with more sticks I still enjoyed less than 15 minutes of fire. It wasn't going to last. It was beautiful, and warming, and wonderful to behold for the time I had it, but sticks just weren't good enough.

So I went out and despite my personal feelings of being ripped off at paying $4.50 for 7 split pieces of wood, I ultimately ended up getting two bundles.

The sticks still going fairly well, I added two logs to the fire and away we went. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying a wonderful flame and warmth.

The next morning, however, when I went to build another fire I had a harder time finding sticks (since we'd pilfered the area fairly well). So I didn't have quite as many sticks under my logs.
Because of that I almost didn't get a fire going.

You see, the big logs take awhile to truly "catch". Paper doesn't last long enough to catch the big logs on fire. But the paper catches the little sticks, and the little sticks burn long enough to catch the logs.

There's a good system to it all.

As I think about my life and the little sticks in my life I want to compare the little sticks to the day to day encounters with Christ. Not just the little moments where you hear a song and feel Him, but when you make sure and read your 3 chapters, 5 chapters, or how ever many you read, every single day. Or pray for 20 minutes each morning. Whatever your routine is.

I think the little sticks are the every day small things that we take for granted and consider unimportant.

We skip our daily reading because, hey, it's only 3 chapters. I can make it up tomorrow or something, today is busy. Talk to God before I go to bed? Well, I would but man, it's been a day and I'm exhausted. God won't mind. It's not like it's that big a deal.

But for every stick you take off your pile, you'll have a harder time catching the big logs on fire. My first campfire eventually burned brightly, with beautiful flames.
My second campfire with less sticks, had trouble getting started and while it burned it mostly burned hot rather than with real flames that I could watch and enjoy.

It made a real impact on me watching how the second fire had so much trouble. I'd put so much importance on the big logs yesterday... ohhh if only I could have a big log that would burn forever and my fire would then be strong and last.

But my big logs just weren't enough on their own. The foundation of those little sticks led to a beautiful bright fire. Even though they had seemed so useless on the first fire since they burnt out so quickly.

As I've said, it's easy to take for granted the small foundational things like regular prayer and reading Gods word. But it's vital.
At least if you want to build a big fire one day.
And I personally want a bonfire that will put Texas A&M to shame. :)

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