God, there’s an analogy going around that I see in music, and on social media, and in Church, where people talk about our hearts burning for you, or how our faith is like a fire. Maybe not everyone has heard of this analogy before, but I hope that Christians will live as if they know what it means.
God, today I just want to write down all my thoughts to you so I can get my head clear of these pieces I haven’t fully put together yet. So if our faith is a fire, what would it look like? Well here’s how a fire is made (this is coming from a boy scout, so I have a bit of knowledge on what a fire looks like.):
1. kindling/tinder: these two items are the basic essentials needed to start a fire. Kindling is the small wood that you set as a base to get the fire going for long enough to get bigger logs and wood in. Tinder is smaller than kindling, and is the first thing you set on fire, with a lighter, flint and steel, match, etc. Tinder can look like many things, from newspaper clips, wood shavings, or torn up string.
From a Christian perspective: Now I’m going to get metaphorical here, so prepare yourselves. Let’s assign roles to each of the things I just talked about. Every human is the tinder. The good news, or Jesus Christ, are the match/firestarting tool, and finally, the Bible, Church, and Christian friends can be Kindling. We are the tinder, because we need a spark, or a flame to start our faith. Jesus is the lighter, because once we hear about and believe in Jesus, we have faith, and the flame ignites in us. And from then on, anything can be kindling really. Anything that advances our faith or keeps the flame alive, like going to Church, talking to other Christians, reading the bible, or praying can be kindling. They all keep our faith alive and well, but the tinder, (us) still need to be the ones to have faith and let the match start a fire in us.
Phew, that was a lot to take in. But that is the basis of what this fire analogy really means, that we need a spark to ignite our faith and get the fire started. But now that the fire is started, what’s next? Well let’s first look at this from a realistic perspective:
2: Once a fire is started, quite a few things need to happen to keep it alive, because fires can be hard to keep going. The first step when a fire is started is to get a bucket full of water, in case the fire gets out of control, or whoever started the fire no longer requires the fire to keep going, and you can dump the water on to extinguish it. Step two would be to monitor it, and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t die out, which brings me to step three: blocking and preventing wind from effecting it by standing where the wind is blowing and using coats or jackets to divert the wind away from it. And finally, step four, is to keep adding wood, and feeding it more big logs so it keeps going for as long as you need it.
From a Christian perspective: So what do the things above look like regarding faith? Well the bucket of water I’ve decided is when God raises the faithful Christians for the final judgement and subsequent placement into heaven. Why do I think a bucket of water used for extinguishing a fire represents that? Because if this fire represents our faith, then when we are called to heaven to be with our creator, faith will no longer be required from him, since we will be able to see and live in the same space as him. The bucket will turn our faith into sight and experience. That was a lot of talk just for a bucket of water, so let’s move onto monitoring the fire. Well, a fire can’t monitor itself, so you’d need trustworthy people to make sure it keeps going and doesn’t die. A.K.A. We need Christians we trust to keep us accountable for our faith, to encourage us when our faith is thin and we don’t feel the spark anymore. Protecting the fire from the wind is when we keep strong when trials come our way. The Christian life, living by faith, it’s not meant to be an easy road, and we can hit snags and experience pain and doubt. But our job, and the job of our trustworthy friends, is to keep the faith alive despite the wind or storms that come to put out our flame. Finally, the adding of more logs. This is honestly a step that is overlooked way too often, and should be confronted by every Christian. Adding more logs is a symbol of growth. The fire gets bigger, when the logs get bigger, and more and more are added. Faith is something that can be improved, and it’s something we have to grow in. Faith in God gets hard sometimes, and if our fire is still burning with the small logs we started with, then that fire can be snuffed out quickly.
God I ask you, as I finish writing this post, that Christians live to keep the fire alive. Because what some people look at as a cheesy analogy, I look at as a powerful explanation of how we need to live our lives. The fire must go on God, because once you come, our faith will be credited to us as righteousness, and the fire will have been well worth it. And it all starts with one match God, and it’s you. Thank you for the spark God, because just one match can lead to a tremendous fire. I thank you for the air I breathe, and the chances you’ve given me to do great things every day. God I write all this down so I can further wrap my mind around faith, and Christianity, so my fire will continue to grow. I will try to piece things together, until in heaven you reveal the full picture to me. Amen.