It's 5:58am and I'm awake. This is not so unusual for me since I have a 8 month old baby, however the unusual part is that I am up, out of my bed, my brain is raring to go and I'm sitting up drinking a cup of tea typing away on my laptop. That is unusual.
It's a little bit chilly and we haven't got any heating in our new extension apart from our trusty log burner sitting in the corner of the room. It's got the mammoth job of heating our entire extension which is bigger than the old part of the house where it used to just heat up our little living room. The demands upon it are bigger, greater and so the flames required need to be bigger, stronger, hotter and last for longer. No mean feat for loggy (thats's our family pet name for our log burners by the way).
Getting up any time before 6am definitely requires a fire in my book and so the first thing I did when I came through to the lounge was attempt to make a fire. It's not usually my job and I'm not that great at it. It's something the boys and their daddy like to take charge of. I did however rise to the challenge and not only that, I actually managed to fan into flame a roaring fire from a lone piece of glowing coal from last nights fire!
The whole fire making process today reminded me of the scripture from Timothy which says 'fan into flame the spiritual gift God gave you.' There's also that well known song by Tim Hughes that immediately springs to mind every time I hear the words 'fan into flame'. It's like my heart just can't help itself but sing along. 'Consuming fire, fan into flame, a passion for your name. Spirit of God would you fall in the place, come have your way in us.'
My fire today sat there smouldering for a while. I saw the lone ember, I screwed up some newspaper and stuffed it inside topped with a couple of pieces of kindling, then I waited...and waited. Nothing much happened. So I grabbed hold of the remaining newspaper and begun to waft it slowly. A few moments later, whoosh! the paper caught a light and the fire began to roar. All it took was a little fanning to keep last nights fire a light and help it to burn bright again.
That scripture in 2 Timothy 1 says this:
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
The 'this is why' is key here. Why do we need to fan into flame all that God has given us? Because our faith is a legacy that passes generation to generation. Paul urges Timothy to fan into flame his spiritual gift, his spiritual heritage, ultimately his faith in Jesus because it is the same faith that first filled his grandmother Lois and then his mother Eunice and now fills Timothy. Paul wants the legacy of faith to continue and he says the key to that is to 'fan into flame the spiritual gift' he received from God. Without fanning into flame what God has placed in us, we leave wide open the doors to fear and timidity but by keeping the flame alight we keep bright the flames of power, love and self-discipline, keys to faith lasting generation to generation.
To that end, the little children are now up and about. Hungry tummies are eager to be satisfied and the fire needs stoking!
Here's the fire by the way in full swing...