The fire was blazing hot; flames shooting out of every window – the community was gathered around and deep sorrow over what was lost could be felt inside of each heart. The shrill sirens of the firetrucks could be heard approaching in the distance. The people pulled back to allow the trained workers to move forward and they watched in awe as the speed and precision of each piece of equipment was uncurled, unwound, and set free to do what it was designed to do.
‘Trevor?’ I snapped back to attention as the instructor called my name. ‘Trevor, are you with us?’ I gave a quick smile and hurriedly turned in my test. ‘Sorry’, I mumbled as I exited the room, ‘It won’t happen again.’
It was so hard to keep my mind on these lessons. I just wanted to be in the action – doing what I was born to do. I went home and poured over the books I had recently checked out at the library. Photos of fires that had consumed entire towns filled the pages – the heroes, completely covered in gear, coming to the rescue. I had memorized every word of those manuals – everything I could find online, and I had spent hours imagining that I was the one holding the hose, rescuing the child, and pulling off my smoke saturated clothing at the end of an exhausting but exhilarating day.
I was a student of that manual and my actual training would start in the fall. My thoughts drifted continually to the rules, the regulations, and the history of each fire. The chaos and panic of each blaze set alongside the precision, skill and the well-practiced firefighters filled my thought life. I could recite every story and every historical moment of my passion. My real life consistently interlaced with my thought life. Natural Fire was my passion. Saving people was what I was created to do.
And then one day I was introduced to a man named Jesus and a Fire named Holy Spirit. My passion for natural fire was instantly intertwined with my new passion for Spiritual Fire. I found so many similarities between the two – and I poured over my spiritual manual with the same intense hunger that I had given the other manuals.
The following year in Fire Academy I was surprised to learn that I needed to practice my skills every single day. As I intentionally taught my physical muscles how to work the hose, the uniform, and the other equipment, I also took time each morning to train spiritually. My muscle and rote memory were being developed and when the first fire emergency happened it was natural and easy for me to work alongside the team and do what I had trained for.
The patience, gentleness, and peace of the Holy Spirit worked through me as I interacted with strangers, my family, and my co-workers. I found that what I intentionally put effort into was what naturally came out of me and that if I practiced daily, there was precision in both my words and in my natural skills.
I finally felt peace as I did what I was designed to do.
To hear more about the excitement and training of preparing for spiritual fires, listen to Paula Brown’s 11/15 message ‘My First Response’.