Jun 24, 2011

Playing with Fire

The young boy sat in the field practicing with a book of matches. He had seen his parents do this thousands of times. All you had to do was strike the red part on the black strip and the matchstick would catch on fire. The young boy kept practicing until he could light the match every time. After he mastered the matches, his mind wandered to the field. What would happen if I lighted all these bushes and weeds? He was about to find out.

The year was 1967 and the young boy was living in Phoenix, Arizona. He never tried to get into trouble, but trouble sure followed wherever he went. On this particularly hot and dry summer day, the young boy grabbed book of matches and headed into the vacant field by his house. He wanted to set a bush on fire. The young boy didn't think that setting a bush on fire would get him in trouble. His father had yelled at him for playing with matches in the house. But the young boy wasn't in the house. He was at a vacant field. Surely his father would not be upset.

But it was a hot summer day. It really took no time at all to light the bush on fire. And within just a few minutes, it wasn't one bush but the vacant lot burning. As the young boy stood in amazement at how quickly the fire was spreading across the field, something horrible happened. His father, driving home from work, had just turned onto the street and was coming straight towards the field. There was no place to run so the young boy just stood there with matches in hand.

When the father arrived at the scene it only took a fraction of a second to piece together what had happened. He was a "get-'er-done" kind of guy and immediately formed a plan. He drove right past the boy and into the field. You see the father drove a pickup truck and the field was mostly sand and dirt. So the father drove the truck into spins and turns kicking up dirt and sand onto the fire. Within minutes, the entire fire had been snuffed out. He then turned his attention to the young boy. The punishment was severe, but not so severe that the young boy ever lost his lust for fire.

I wonder how many times we get into trouble here on earth and God sends Angels down to put out our fires? We only see the trouble that actually happens, but what about the troubles that could have happened? For these we'll have to wait until we see God face to face to find out. The only thing we know for sure is that we all do stupid things in this life and thanks be to Jesus that his forgiveness covers them. Otherwise, we'd be in a world of hurt.

As for the young boy, he became a pastor and is now serving a congregation in Vail, Arizona.


Pastor David Hook

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