Tonight after the KC fish fry I was out behind the building burning the grease laden cardboard since we can't recycle the stuff with oil on it. As I was standing there watching the fire I started to think how important fire has been to me in my life. And also how it's been a source of comfort and solitude as well as a source of fellowship and fun times.
I remember as a young scout always volunteering to be the fire builder in the morning for my patrol. I usually got up early any way so I figured I might as well do it. Ok so I'm also a slight pyromaniac, but let me rationalize here. Those early mornings were usually slightly chilly with dew on the ground and just the sound of nature besides my walking and breathing. First I would gather my wood and kindling into the fire ring and get things laid out just right. My goal was always to try to get the fire going using only one match. Many times I succeeded, but not always.
Once the fire was started I would just sit there and stare at the fire. I would watch the flames as they devoured the wood and the smoke slowly rising into the morning air. Many times it would almost be a spiritual experience just sitting and watching the fire in the silence.
Another time later in my scouting career I was tasked with staying up all night on a Vigil while tending a fire that I built. The goal was to spend time in silence pondering life and such while also staying awake and keeping the fire going. Through the night the fire would grow and then burn down as I'd neglect it while reading or thinking or dozing off (oops). I would always get it back to roaring again, but it was like a cycle. Symbolically looking back the fire really could represent my faith life. It seems like God is my fire tender. He makes sure that the spirit is burning in me, unfortunately sometimes I don't feel it or shut it out and the fire through my neglect gets weak, but whenever I need it and turn to it for warmth God makes sure that it's ready for me.
I need more fire in my life right now. I used to feed off of the fire of those around me in college, but now unfortunately I feel like a lone candle a lot of times. Back in college our flames came together to make a conflageration. Now I feel like one small flame that could easily be extinguished.