I love building and tending to a fire. My family and I have spent many hours of quality time outside by our backyard fire pit’s warm glow. When I’m tending the fire, I poke and prod at it all night long. I could stay there very contently for hours with a poker stick and that fire.
I don’t want the fire to burn to fast, get too small, or shoot sparks. I’m constantly managing it to make sure it stays where it needs to be.
When properly attended to, a fire can keep your family warm, safe and dry. It can cook food and feed your family. But the other side of the coin is it has the capability in a moment’s notice to do incredible harm to people and property.
It fascinates me to consider the fuel that feeds a fire. In the fire pit, wood makes fire burn longer, bigger and brighter. However, I’m the type of personality that if one piece of wood is good, and two are better, then 10 must be the best! I can put the fire out by placing too many pieces of wood on it. I can put so much wood on that I snuff the fire out.
If you think about the fire inside you, it has to be carefully managed to the right size. You can overfeed it, you can snuff it out, it can burn really big and bright, then you run out of fuel and it’s done. If you neglect the fire inside you, the flame will gradually get smaller and smaller until it eventually dies out.
Some people talk about “burning the candle at both ends.” I have a friend who once joked he cut his candle in half and he’s burning it in four places. “I’m not going to burn very long, but I’m going to burn really bright,” he said.
A carefully tended fire is key to finding balance in your own life. I don’t exercise that control and diligence in some aspects of my life and that’s something I’m working on. When it comes to my schedule, I let my calendar become a bonfire and it burns out of control. I erroneously try to control the damage from the fire instead of preventing the damage. I should be tending to the fire regularly.
If we’re honest, most of us would admit to burning out of control. I caution you to take control back and get the fire inside you back to a normal, healthy size. Tend to your fire. What areas in your life are burning out of control?