A Little Flame Goes A Long Way

“It’s always a good time for s’mores!”

Isley is passionate about chocolate and melty marshmallows. Add a graham cracker and it’s an invitation to sweet bliss. 

We hauled out our fire pit–a few months and several degrees early–so we could have a fire for roasting marshmallows. The weather cooled a bit, and we were able to avoid massive amounts of sweat pouring off our bodies in front of the flames.

Isley was the watch person who reminded everyone when their marshmallow was getting too crispy. Her warnings of, “Blow it out now!” were heeded by everyone but Ryken. He’d glance at her, let it sit a little longer, and then blow the flame on his marshmallow out.  

My kids and grands alike have had a fascination with fire. Cal at two requests YouTube videos of volcanoes all the time. Molten lava, magma, and eruption are words my kids didn’t know until they were much older. His enjoyment of fire-spouting mountains made me realize how we all have a certain allure for things that burn us.

When the flames were lit, there was a pause when all eyes were on the fire. Like a bug zapper, we were drawn to its glow and warmth, the dancing flames, and the brilliant colors. Then came the warnings: “Don’t get too close to the fire!”

We’ve all experienced fire in our lives. Maybe not the heated flames, but the things that draw us in yet are never good for us. Those things that can singe us if we venture too near; if we draw closer still can consume us. The things that aren’t healthy for us, that take our focus away from what’s good and right, the things that compromise our hearts and cause us to overreact to emotions rather than seeing people and true need. 

For me, I typically get burned by not believing the best of others. If I find I’ve not been included in a gathering or am not part of the group activity, it’s easy for me to feel overlooked and unworthy. My mind fills with the lies of my insufficiency. The reality is I don’t need to be part of everything. That’s not a sustainable model of life. 

Culturally, our world is focused on the flames of divisiveness and critical attitudes. We’re drawn too close to the grumblings and complaints of those who feel disenfranchised from others by lack of opportunity or recognition. The reverse is also true: there are those who are frustrated with the disenfranchised. The fire of fury with what we see and experience around us can only burn us and cause more pain. Healing comes from stepping away from the fire.

Jesus reminded us that this world is full of trouble. There will always be problems, always be those who don’t have as much as others, always those who are in pain. This is a broken world. 

Jesus is the only answer to the pain of rejection and heartache. He offers love and forgiveness in a world burning with anger and unforgiveness. He offers hope when the world offers disruption.

Fire always burns. Learning to stay back and not be consumed is a challenge. 

Unless you have the ultimate Fire Fighter on your side.





2 responses to “A Little Flame Goes A Long Way”

  1. Great post and so true, Dayle. The truth of us feeling left out, unworthy, and insufficient, I think, comes down to the fact that we are too self-centered. And don’t worry, I stand first in line on this, sad to say! We – I – need to take CS Lewis’ words more to heart. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.” Oh how I need more of this in my life!

    By the way, my hubby would fit in well with your family with his fire fascination, which he’s had from childhood. He just loves flames and seeing them burn!! Good thing we have a fireplace in our summer home!!


    1. I love that your husband also has a fascination with fire! And I love that quote by CS Lewis–our culture today is prone to think first of us then of everyone else. And I agree with you–I’m right up there at the front of the line with you!

      Liked by 1 person

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