Fire, a blessing and a curse. I sit here in the quite of a still morning watching the flames as they lick away at the logs I have placed in the stove. It took a while to get the fire started so it would burn without constant attention. I placed balls of paper at the bottom of the stove, then an egg carton filled with pine cones, bark bits, lint, and small pieces of kindling. I lit a match and touched the paper with the small flame. Soon, the paper was eaten away as the flames went on to devour the egg carton and the kindling. The moments had come to place a larger log on this fledging fire. Be Careful! The weight of the log can smother the small flames unless there is a tunnel for the air to resuscitate the soft flames of the kindling. Fire must have oxygen, fuel, and heat to continue burning. So I used the poker to create a tunnel in the ashes and blew my own breath on to it, and the small flames leaped with joy and danced around the log. Soon, the fire began to tease at the big log. Small splinters were tasted first, rolled on the tongue of the flame. I marveled that the log, once a tree that stood so magnificently for decades, was being consumed in minutes just to give me warmth on this, cold, crisp, still morning.
If this fire were loosed in the forest, it could destroy the very trees that gave it life. If it is contained in the stove, it can bring warmth, cook food, and give light. Like the fire, our souls need nourishment with the breath of God and his love. We, too, have two paths we might choose: the pat
h of destruction, or the path of creation. If we allow our souls to grow like wildfire, we will destroy the very things that bring us life. If we tend to our souls, nourishing them with the breath of God and keep them under His control, we will have life that is eternal. I choose the Breath of Heaven.