This weekend we built a fire and we kept it going for nine hours. It was incredible! We have a fireplace that has a gas line built in; however, we haven’t had a plumber come and inspect the line yet. So we are left to building fires the old fashioned way. I did Boy Scouts but barely made it past Webelo so I didn’t harness the fire-building powers beyond what google could offer me. Needless to say we’ve had some fire fails with smoke pouring back into the house or the fire just dies after an hour of working at it. But this weekend we got it working (almost lost it again) but once it got hot enough and there were enough coals then anyone could just toss a log on there and it would burn beautifully.
I loved what’s it symbolized: nine hours of family rest time. We ate, read, slept, ate some more… then read some more. It was our sabbath time of turning everything off (our minds included) to all the wants and things we don’t have to focus on being grateful for what we do have.
The fire also symbolized something for me that I’ve been mulling over a lot: the slow work of God. Not getting caught up in all the hurried busyness and trying to look frantic so no one calls us lazy. But really slowing down and doing things that make our minds and bodies and spirits slow down too.
Hopefully we’ll have some more nine-hour fires in our future and the meantime I’m looking around at relationships, work and our neighborhood and asking the question: how can we build more nine-hour fires that slow us down and help us savor each moment and each other? Because once it’s started, it’s infredibly easy to keep burning. So what’s the up-front work look like in these areas of life?