A couple weeks ago, in honor of Fire Prevention Week, our family developed and practiced our fire escape plan. Afterwards I had a blog message burning in my heart, but I didn’t tend to it and after much neglect it fizzled out. That’s ture of most things that burn in my heart; prayer, Bible study, writing, exercise… (Lesson One: an effective fire needs tending.)
Today I received an email from Todd Wilson (The Family Man. www.familymanweb.com) Okay, so if you know who Todd is, then you have already concluded that the email was for my husband. Todd sends out a weekly email to encourages dads and husbands. He has great stuff to say though and often it applies in my own life, so I signed my hubby up at work and I get it at home. Anyway…I digress…Today he shared the following message. He introduced it by saying that he had a man share a struggle with him, who felt like his friends had let him down. (Check out Todd’s website for the whole story.) Here’s the part that struck me:
It reminds me of a story about a man who happened to be driving by his buddy’s house late one night and noticed a flame flickering in an upstairs window.
Alarmed, he pulled into the driveway and pounded on the door to wake up his friend…but no one answered. Knowing that time was of the essence, the man got a good running start and hurled himself through the large plate glass window near the front door.
Cut and bleeding, he struggled up the stairs and kicked open his friend’s bedroom door only to find his friend and wife embraced in bed with a lit candle near the window.
Sadly…the story is made up, but the point is that this is the kind of friend I want to be…one that would pick embarrassment and possible error in order to save his friend from possible death.
That’s the kind of person my friend needed…we all need…and we all need to be.
I couldn’t agree with Todd more! (Lesson Two: When you see a flame, take action. Don’t wait!)
When I speak to groups about evangelism, I share the example that if we saw a burning building and knew it was empty, we wouldn’t think of running into that building. However, if we knew for certain that a small child was in that burning building, we’d most likely not think twice before running in. Friends and family who don’t know Jesus as their Savior are balancing precariously on the edge of eternity in Hell. Hot! HOt! HOT! (Lesson Three: Don’t think twice about telling your loved ones about Jesus!)
So, here’s the final analogy that’s burned in my heart since our family fire drill. After running our three children through the drill and quizzing them on all the “what-ifs,” we had them safely tucked in their beds for the night. I moved to the couch with “Writing The Breakout Novel” in tow. (That’s another blog. :)) That’s when I discovered my 10-year-old’s handwritten fire plan laying on the couch. Here’s what it said:
1. Meeting Place: basketball hoop
2. House we use Phone: Hanson’s or Handlogten’s
3. One thing to quickly grab (if time): Kadi: Ta-ta Mommy: Bible
4. Things to consider: Make sure boys are safe
Stop, drop, and role (Note to Me: add homonyms to spelling list)
Put blankets in cracks
Use anything to break window
Kadi had a great point #5, but I didn’t get that far. TRUST GOD really got me. Of course, I spent a few minutes chastising myself for not thinking to include that tip in my own fire plan. Then it occurred to my that TRUST GOD is the most important point in any fire escape plan. Of course, in a physical fire we need to TRUST GOD. Additionally, many people refer to accepting Christ as a type of eternal fire insurance…and when we accept Christ’s gift of salvation we must surely …(Lesson Four: Trust God).
How much time have you spent on your fire plan? It’s kind of like flying…you have to save yourself from the fire before you can help anyone else. Then, if you’ve taken the sprititual steps to insure your safety, you need to leap in and take action in the lives of those you love. And finally, when God sparks a passion in your heart for Him, don’t let it die of neglect.
May any BURNING we do…be for Christ!