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.