I can’t believe I am fixing to tell you this. It’s slightly embarrassing. It was also very stupid. Embarrassing doesn’t bother me, it’s the stupid part that does.
Have you ever started off doing something innocently enough, then things get out of hand and before you know it you are where things are almost out of control?
For example, you and a friend are just talking and somehow the topic gets on to a person and you say something about that person and then the next day that person calls and asked how you could have said such a thing about them. Yea, that’s happened to me before, too. That one really blew up in my face.
God says, in James 3:5, “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
This past weekend, the youth of several local churches meet for The Mix 13 conference. Each church asks members to host for the weekend. I hosted the boys. Hosting involves feeding! To start things off on Friday, the church fed the youth pizza. They bought several pizzas for dinner and the boys brought the leftovers home.
Yesterday, after all was said and done, I was cleaning. Trying to decide what to do with the boxes, I decided to burn them. I thought about the fireplace, but then decided on the fire pit outside.
I took the boxes to the pit and saw a small pile of dead limbs and leaves in the pit and thought, “oh goodie, it will make lighting the boxes easier.” So, I lit the brush, let it get going good and put on the first box. No problem. I had done all this before.
Yea, before. Before, I always brought a bucket of water with me to put out any stray sparks. Before, I was smart enough to drag the water hose down there, just in case. Before I was smart enough not to burn anything on a windy day. I can guess you can see where this story is going.
The first box was burning pretty good when a gust of wind blew the flames towards the edge of the pit. That caught the grass at the edge on fire. No problem. I got them out. Then the wind blew again and kept blowing and I could not get my foot in there to stomp them out. I ran to get a bucket of water. By the time I got back, the fire was twice the size I had left it and my small bucket of water wasn’t going to do much. I poured it on and got out what I could and went back for the water hose. I turned on the water, grabbed the hose and prayed it wouldn’t tangle. I got the hose to the fire only to watch my spray of water die. I turned to see what had happen only to see water squirting from the water spicket. I ran back to screw it on only to see that it had broken off with no way for me to attach it again.
I started to call for My Man, who I thought was in his office, but saw that his car was gone. Dillon was asleep and I knew how long it would take to wake him. Too long.
I turned back to the fire and it was getting out of control quickly. I ran back down there, in my crock shoes, mind you. Have I mentioned I am literally out of breath by now? I was fighting for every breath and my heart was beating so fast.
Back down at the fire, I am stomping out the fire in my crocks. I decided that I had best put out the part that was spreading the fastest and headed for the woods. Oh yea… we have 100′s of acres of woods behind our house!!!! I probably looked liked I was doing some kind of weird, new dance, stomping at the flames. The whole time I am saying, “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus” and meaning it every time. I was thanking him for the energy to put out the flames, because I really was tired. I was thanking Him for each flame that went out. I was thank Him for the flames being small, and for my crocks not melting.
Finally, all flames were out. Or so I thought. I looked up to see the boxes I had not put into the pit on fire. UGH! Are you kidding me!!! I kicked them into the pit, so more grass wouldn’t catch on fire, then ran, again, to get more water to put them out. Got back, poured the water on and watched the last spark go out. I looked around the edge of the burnt grass just to make sure nothing else was starting back up. It wasn’t. I thanked God for that, too!
I will have to look at this and be reminded of what could have happened and how stupid I was for a few weeks, until the weather warms up and the grass begins to grow. Soon enough the damage will be covered and no one will think about it much. At least, until we burn something again and I will do what I know to do.
Not the same with our words though. The damage our words do can last a lifetime. Trust is sometimes burned beyond repair. The wounds are not so easily healed like the grass is. What we say can start off innocently enough, then spread out of control faster than we can stomp the out.
Jesus is the only one who can repair that kind of damage. We also have to be willing to let Him heal.
Be very careful with your words.
And don’t burn pizza boxes on a windy day!
Love ya!!! Jayne