Sunday, February 01, 2009

Fueling the Fire of Love

I has just now tending the fire in the fireplace. We are working on burning this great big log, that's about twice the size of all the other logs in the bundle of firewood we bought a few days ago.

We keep getting a fire started, with kindling and THE LOG, and at first, it would just go out. More kindling. Then it would smolder and go out. After a time, I'd try again. Take the fire apart, rebuild it with kindling sticks, twisted paper, plenty of air pockets, and THE LOG. It would burn, and then go out.

Finally today I've managed to get the log actually burning, but it still has a tendency to simmer down to burning coals after a bit, and there's just so much unburnt wood left.

Every once in a while, I just have to add more kindling to that big ol' LOG, to get it going again.

And I realized that's what the spiritual life is like. (I guess I take after my mom, who was/is forever finding "spiritual parallels".)

We must add kindling to the fire of our love for Christ. I think this is especially important for people who have been Christians for a very long time. The flames don't just keep burning on their own, even if that big old log still has a glow.

Fires must be fed, and so must our love for God.

One of my kids was asking how to do this, the other day.

The answer seems so simple and basic: say your prayers, read your Bible, go to Church for prayer, worship, communion, confession.... and yet difficult to follow through on sometimes, or too formulaic and easy.

How about this? Vicious commitment to a life of prayer (because viciousness against lassitude and laziness is what it takes...at least for me). Ferocious feeding on the Bread of Life. Reading the Holy Scriptures as if our life depended on it. Being irrationally (from the world's perspective) intentional about the things of God. Mighty confessions and tears of repentance, which is a gift from God.

2 comments:

elizabeth said...

yes... and also when our hearts feel dead, standing in prayer, asking God for mercy, our hearts in ashes... learning to be thankful when we feel we are in misery...

God is so good, to allow us to pray...

Emmelia said...

After living in a house with a large wood-burning fireplace for several years in which we liked to try to burn large logs all the time, I can tell you from experience that the other key to getting a large log to burn is company! You put a couple other smaller logs burning around that log, and yes, it will burn slower than the other logs, but it will keep burning. You will have to replace the other logs repeatedly because they will burn up, but they WILL keep the big log burning.
WE can do this together! Thank you for your blog! I can see you growing and it encourages me on my way!