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A blazing bonfire


One of the events I was looking forward to on the Hill End camp was the Saturday evening bonfire. It almost didn’t happen though; the pallets provided as fuel were damp and we couldn’t track down any firelighters. Fortunately I have had a certain amount of experience with bonfires and was able to help get the blaze shown above going.

Another thing I was involved in over the weekened was providing early morning devotions for the leaders. I entered the weekend with ideas for this and, on Saturday morning, had recycled something I pulled together for my small group earlier in the week. However, after the bonfire, I had to stay up late (well past the official curfew!) to ensure the fire was put safely to bed so, while waiting for the embers to calm down, I made use of the time to follow my instinct that something fresh would be good for Sunday.

I started by mentioning the use of fiery imagery both to capture the awesome power of God (Hebrews 12:29) but also as a way of describing his Spirit in us (visibly manifest at Pentecost in Acts 2 but also noted in 2 Timothy 1:6). I then shared the following three observations:

  1. It was hard to get our fire going. We had almost given up but that extra bit of perseverance got the desired result. Is something you have a vision for not catching? Perhaps it needs some more time and a bit of help.
  2. The success wasn’t just down to me coming with some experience. The paper some people brought down and particularly the guys who broke up some pallets to produce smaller sticks were essential. The help you need and hopefully get may come from unexpected quarters and be beyond what you might have dreamed of.
  3. Putting it out took a long time. I had to spread it and watch for ages and it could still have been coaxed back. However, spread out, it did eventually lose enough heat to be left safely and was cold by morning. Lesson? Maybe don’t spread yourself too thin.


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