Have you ever had a candlelight dinner with someone special? Have you ever sat by the warmth of a campfire on a cold night, or watched the joy in the eyes of your children or grandchildren as they roasted marshmallows over the dancing flames of a fire?
I’m sure (and certainly hope) that you have experienced some or all of the above. If you have, you have witnessed the first and original “home entertainment center.”
Fire has been at the forefront of importance in human history for all but probably the last 150 years… a tiny fraction of the time we have been on this earth. Fire provided and sustained life. It protected us, cooked our food, warmed our caves, teepees, cabins and castles, and was the gathering point for sharing our life stories. If our sun — the big fire in the sky — were to leave us, the earth would be dead in a few hours. Fire is life itself. Fire is pure energy.
When we first fall in love with someone, or with our career, or with anything we feel truly passionate about, we feel the spark of this energy. This is a wonderful, special feeling. We think it will last forever, but these sparks of a new fire are very fragile and must be tended and cared for in order to build them into the roaring flames we want in our relationships or our careers. If left untended, they go out quickly.
The problem that I see in our fast-paced world is that we seem to want to live in a “gas log society.” We forget that all fires must be continually looked after and cultivated. Our marriages and our careers cannot be successful or fully lived by simply flipping the switch to turn them on like we do with a gas log. The roaring fire in our fireplaces or in our hearts will soon go out without constant care. There is a saying that everything through longevity tends to get off track. The fire of passion in our lives will definitely get off track or go out if it is not tended.
Some think we can flip the switch and TURN on LIFE. We think we can hit the backspace button and eliminate third world hunger. We can push the delete button and wipe out the fact that 30% or our youth drop out of high school. Hit the cut and paste to rewrite our life story because we have failed to build a life through industriousness and enthusiasm. We just don’t seem to understand that a text message will NEVER replace whispering in a person’s ear, “I love you!”
Life is to be lived. We can’t flip a switch when we feel like it to keep a marriage or career successful. We can’t flip a switch only when it suits us and expect to keep our dreams alive. Life is to be lived to the fullest, and that means being IN the game not simply AT the game. A gas log fire is being AT the game. Keeping a roaring fire ablaze is being IN the game.
Being in the game of life means being ALL IN… engaged, focused, committed and rising up with all the GRIT and ZEST that we can muster.
Tonight, when you have dinner, whether you are by yourself, with someone special, with a gang of kids and your spouse, light a candle and as you watch its wonderful flame, ask yourself, “Am I tending the fires of my life to make sure that the fire within me keeps burning bright and alive each and every day?”