I prefer green. Trees, plants, the lawn... green energizes me. Brown makes me lethargic, like I want to hibernate. While there may be something to that thought, hiding under the covers of my bed for 3 months isn't a real option.
So, this time of year, as the leaves are falling, I find myself in the perpetual motion of raking and burning, and raking and burning... in order to briefly enjoy the green of the grass once again. Also, I am thankful to live in a climate where the grass stays green(ish) year round.
Yesterday as I did this, I was having a hard time setting the leaf pile on fire. It hasn't rained and they weren't really wet. But the leaves were damp. The morning dew had left the leaves just damp enough that they just would not catch fire. So I decided to try a small piece of "lighter pine" that we use to start fires in the fireplace. It worked! The lighter pine lit as readily as ever, and burned long enough and hot enough to set the leaves ablaze.
Damp leaves are difficult to get lit.
Once the fire was burning, I would let it die down to almost embers, then rake another big pile of leaves on top. After a minute of thick smoke, the fire would blaze right back up.
Damp leaves burn easily if you keep the fire lit.
This can happen to us. Things happen... or don't happen... we get in ruts... we lose focus of a clear vision we once had... or we just get lazy... and the phrase we use for this is we "dampen our spirits." Where once we experienced the fire of passion burning within us, the fire may now be out.
Damp spirits are difficult to get lit.
It turns out staying lit isn't simply a mindset. It doesn't just happen. It takes work to stay lit. We have to add fuel to the fire. That fuel, and how often we have to pour it on the embers of our spirit, will be different for each of us. How do we know what fuels the fire in our spirits? The answer is in the spark that once set you on fire in the first place. What are you truly passionate about? What is like oxygen to your soul? When have you felt most alive? In these questions, you find a place to start.
For me, the best way I stay lit... even when my spirit gets dampened... is in the One who awakened these passions within me - the One who put them there when I was created - the One who has set my life on fire even after I've let the fire burn completely out and grow cold. Finding my way back to God re-ignites the passion in my spirit!
So, connect yourself with the Fire-starter, and do the work of feeding the flames, and stay lit, my friends!