Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Real Campfire

I am definitely old school when it comes to building a campfire. Although there are much quicker ways to do it, the point of a campfire is not a quick fire (unless your only meal option is over the fire and everybody is HUNGRY), but rather it should all be a part of the slow-moving, relaxing, pace of camping. Our family has chosen to stick with tents throughout our camping life. This summer, though, we experienced for the first time camping with no help and no electricity. We actually did pretty good, I must say. We didn't go hungry, we didn't get bored, and we even left wanting to do it again sometime. Plus, I was able to make two campfires with nothing but a match and the resources we had on hand. It took some time, it took lots of attention, and it took quite a few moments of "encouragement." Then, after it was going, I received some advice from my wife that helped it get even hotter . . . "put the wood closer together." It worked! Then, after we were done with the fire, we wanted to save some of the wood for a fire on another night, so what do you think we did? That's right, we separated the wood and the fire died quickly. Just like a REAL campfire lends to a REAL camping experience, we can take lessons from this definition of a REAL campfire in order to live lives that are REAL and alive. First and foremost, we cannot live our lives in isolation. We need others to spark our God-given talents and roles in life. In the midst of these relationships, we need to invest time, give lots of focused attention, and do lots of encouraging. Then, once it's burning good we need to continue to stick together so that the flame of the love of God can burn hotter, brighter, and longer. Second, the motivation of our unity must be focused on the right kind of fire. If it's a fire to destroy (gossip, slander, destruction, etc.) the unity is evil and temporary. If it's a fire to keep warm or to make a meal (mutual respect, love, forgiveness, and lifting up) the unity is good, productive, and long-lasting. Both fires must be fed more of the same to stay burning. How will you keep the right campfire burning in your lives, family, and church?