I was recently playing in a golf tournament in my home state of Arizona. I occasionally partake in a cigar when golfing. A friend of mine in my golf league offered me one during our round, so I kindly obliged. Shortly after initially lighting our cigars we realized his lighter was out of fluid. Keeping a cigar lit when it’s windy on the golf course is challenging enough, but when you’re out of lighter fluid it’s a near hopeless task. Typically you’re stuck with matches, which once again, near hopeless on a windy golf course. For whatever reason, this got me thinking….
Strike a match and watch it burn. Eventually your fingers start to burn and you blow out the match, or let it drop and it simmers out on its’ own. There is only so much burn in a match. There is only so much fluid in a lighter. Both require lighting over and over again to accomplish the task at hand.
What about building a bonfire, the right way? Surrounding the fire with rocks. Having kindling to help start the fire and collecting ample wood to keep the flame burning without worrying about the need for constant relighting. What if once started, the fire burned from transcendent/supernatural powers? What if all you have to do is ditch the matches and lighters and build YOUR FIRE the right way?
What if we turn away from the short-term fulfillments of this world, those boxes of matches and fluid dependent lighters? We all have our versions of “lighters and matches,” otherwise known as our demons, our addictions, our “desires” of this world. Some rely on shopping/buying new things, looking a certain way to get attention from others, alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, unhealthy relationships, drama, vices, etc.! These fulfillment chases are equivalent to lighting a short-term dopamine match, they don’t sustain a long term FIRE WITHIN us to live a better more fulfilled life. You’ll always be “striking a new match” or “refilling your lighter” to try filling the often misunderstood void within your spirit.
What if all we have to do is be open to a Relationship with Him? What if we simply need to take a step to prepare our fire? I believe us opening our hearts to Him is the kindling to start our true bonfire. We then build rocks around our fire by surrounding yourself with other believers who THIRST for spiritual growth as well. We also build rocks by cultivating an environment of daily disciplines that keep our spirit in alignment with Him. What about having ample wood to keep our bonfire going (our Relationship with HIM)? We all feel God in different ways, we need to lean into those ways consistently to stay tuned in and hear/feel him speaking to us. The wood for my personal fire- reading The Word and other spiritual books, listening to spiritual/growth-minded podcasts, music (listening, singing and learning to play guitar), nature, prayer/reflection time. I NEED these things in my life, otherwise I’ll inevitably find myself back striking my book of matches with no wood to burn.
What are your “matches and lighters” that could be replaced with the phenomenal warmth and glow of our Heavenly Father’s presence? What have you tried lighting over and over again in an attempt to create a spark within yourself, yet it just never lasts? Maybe try laying your matches down, perhaps just in one area, and work on surrendering that area to God. Have Him help build an everlasting bonfire within you. Sparks are useful for a moment, being on fire for a purpose greater than yourself while having an unconditional glow within you is better- just my opinion.