This morning while preparing the fireplace, I cleaned the glass and set the kindling in the firebox all the while my thoughts kept going to Matthew in the New Testament. Jesus was speaking to his disciples about striving to be humble, kind and a servant to all. This got me thinking, we all have an earthly nature that wants instead, fame, glory, attention and wealth. We all like driving new cars, building big homes and the other trappings of wealth and attention. Yet, Jesus is saying that the greatest desire we should have is just the opposite.
As I watched the wood burning in the fireplace, I threw into the flames a paper towel that I had just used, it had wood glue on it. It immediately burst into bright flames and it out shown the gentle flames of the firewood for a brief moment. Its heat could be felt, but again, only for a short time, and then it was gone. As the towel quickly disappeared, I noticed once more the gentle wood flames come to the forefront once again. The wood's heat was consistent and its appearance was unassuming. I thought, "Perhaps that is the way our Lord wants us to be, consistent, unassuming, gentle, and warm to others in our lives." And yet still, it is our nature to want to be like the paper towel, rising up in a flash that everyone notices, but unfortunately like fame, glory, and recognition, it soon disappears.
Inwardly though, we desire love and someone to care about us, and yet many times we don't know how to seek it. Our answer is found in seeking our Lord. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the 'life'". John 14:16.
During this time of the season, this is where our hearts should be seeking. Jesus will show us how to shine bright in the darkest corners of life and bring joy, love and peace to those who are so desperately seeking what they cannot find. The brightness and warmth that will shine from our hearts is the love of Jesus reaching out quietly in helping others.