March 23, 2016

Escaping Through the Flames

Yesterday a controlled burn that the man thought he put out sprang to life and devoured his neighbor’s 100 X 32-foot garage containing six vintage cars, four motorcycles and other vehicles. A family member was able to save one vintage car by pushing it out of the garage. The residence was spared, but the intense heat broke windows and damaged siding and gutters. While it is a tragic loss, the reported imagery reminds me of Paul’s caution to those building on the foundation of Jesus Christ, “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor 3:12-15 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Each man’s work will be tested in the fire? It appears this weed-burner’s work wasn’t tested in his fire, but his neighbor’s completely unrelated work was. This event shows how life is a thorough mixture of what we do stirred into what happens to us. The weed-burner was doing responsibly, most likely. He was probably careful to examine his burn for any remaining smolder. But his neighbor’s burned up garage says he missed a spark. How big does a spark have to be? Not even big enough to see. Many of our problems begin from undetectable circumstances.
-----But there’s more ways circumstances can be undetectable than just by their size. Surely the neighbor had insurance on his garage and its contents. Six vintage cars warrants really good insurance. But how replaceable is a vintage car? Vintage cars enjoy personal attachments by their owners. Or at least they should. Insurance is not a very personal protection. It says, “Hey, man. You’re replaceable!” However impersonal insurance might be, it is blinding. How often did weed-burner burn weeds? Probably every year. These things are customary. Six vintage cars would have been far better protected in a garage sided and roofed with tin. But really, they were insured, so why the extra bother?
-----Life is full of circumstances too small to see, too blended into life’s general background “noise”, or existing beyond the distance we’ve gone to protect ourselves and others from ourselves. Life cares nothing about your attachments and feelings and everything about being the effect of its antecedent cause. We must also throw off our passions and deal with its risks on reasonable grounds alone. This neighbor’s insurance premiums being cheaper and easier than fully fireproofing his garage trapped him within a risky illusion of safety and turned his precious cars to clinkers. Both men’s work was tested by this fire. Both were burned up.

Love you all,
Steve Corey