How To Put Out What You've Been Keeping In
Posted by Kaley Thompson [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Only you can prevent forest fires.” At least that’s what Smokey the Bear has been telling me my whole life. And when we go camping, I think of his face with his furry finger pointing at me. My fear of disappointing ol' Smokey and bringing the whole forest down leads me to put out my fires every time. Great advertising really.
But in life, preventing fires is less encouraged. We’re not as much in the business of averting disaster as we are in grabbing an extinguisher when it happens. Our marriage starts to go under and we rush into counseling. We start failing our classes so right before the exam we get a tutor. We wait to teach our kids life lessons until they make mistakes. We start saving our money when something happens where we might lose it. Take any issue and we pretty much wait until we see flames before we do anything about solving it. Why is that?
Instead of putting out our fires completely, we leave the embers burning.
We “forgive" but hold a grudge. We “sacrifice” for others but resent them for it. We "give Jesus our heart" but not our lives. One day, the coals that have been warming under the surface receive some air and BOOM! We have fire. We have divorce talks, pity parties, close calls, and big fights over little things and we have no idea where they've come from. To remove the element of surprise, we need to be putting out our fires fully. Here’s how.
On Smokey the Bear’s website, it says to “pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones.”
Drown ALL embers. Ask God for a bucket and dump gallons of grace on your past mistakes. Pour out forgiveness where you’ve been hurt by others. Slather the things that have suppressed you with freedom. What ever God pours into you, pour it out on all embers. Because little issues can fan into just as huge of a disaster as big ones.
Our friend Smokey got it right when he said “Only you…” Putting out personal fires is something only you can do for yourself. So ask, “What coals have I kept burning? What have I been keeping in that I need to put out?” Then, go grab your bucket. Let God fill it. It’s time to fight some fires.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Kaley Thompson is the chief storyteller at People of the Second Chance. She lives in Charlotte and wears a sparkly motorcycle helmet.