Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In Case of Fire

Anyone who is in California does not need to be told about wild fires or forest fires. They are intense and cause total devastation. In the world of being a pastor, I often hear many of my colleagues claim most of their time being consumed by putting out fires. Now most of these "fires" are nothing compared to the wild fires on the west coast, they none the less demand our attention.

I once had a conversation with a Forest Service Agent regarding forest fires. He said something which was shocking to me. He said Smokey the Bear was the best and worst thing to happen to the forests of our country. My quizzical look helped him to continue his explanation. Smokey the Bear worked very well, people listened and were more careful, however many forests need fires to be healthy. With the success of Smokey the fires were less frequent, but more tinder built up so the fires were more intense. In the end the forest was not as healthy. Additionally some trees need to have the temperature of the forest fire in order to have their seeds germinate properly.

So not all fires are fires which need putting out. I wonder if there are fires in my life and yours which need to be left burning. Could it be the only way that new life can emerge is if the fire we want desperately to put out needs to burn.

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