Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fire in the Hole

Fire. Brings life, brings death. One of my favorite portions of scripture states that "the Lord is an all consuming fire." All consuming. I suppose that this implies that there is nothing left.... no charred bones, no blackened teeth, no leftover fillings or tarnished adornments. All consuming. Why in the hell does this appeal to me? Is it because I think so very little of myself that I wish not to be? I don't think so. I'm pretty screwed up and there's plenty of things that I don't really like about myself, but I am pretty secure in the fact that I am created in the "imagio deo." I like that... it gives grace to the fraility of or own feeble existence. So then, do I find nothing worth keeping in who I am? No.... I have God given gifts and talents that are very much worthwhile and intended to be used to glorify God and bless His creation. Why then do I like the fire that consumes all of me..... all of everything.
The fire of God,the presence of God that brings life and death, is the essence of who and what God is. He is consuming to a point where he leaves nothing of us that is not inherently "of Him" left. It is not so much that He consumes everything, but He consumes everything that is not Him. Fire does not consume itself, only that which is not fire. In like manner, the divine Life inside of us through the Holy Spirit survives the flame of God. The spark of new life through the Incarnation fuels the consumption of all within us that is not Christlike. In turn, as the flesh or worldly aspects of the human life are burnt up, the divine fire burns stronger and with more intensity. This allows us to be more fully human in so much as we are free to be human through the power of the Divine. The consumption of the "us" that is not the intended "us" brings us to a point of liberty to not be held by the shackles of or struggles.... i.e. sin.

The struggle for me, and with us all is to embrace the fire instead of running from it. God's fire, His presence brings us life... warmth through the cold nights of this world. This is the draw. We desire life in the inmost core of our being. We seek it, we strive for it, but we often want it on our terms. God's life is not to be found on our terms. His life consumes. While we are drawn to this at one level, on another lever we are repulsed by it. We do not want to die..... we don't want even a little part of us to die. We resist this even though we recieve greater overall life through part of us dying. We want life with no death, fire with no consumption. This is an impossibility that leads us down a path of discontentment and dissatisfaction.

We can find no peace until we embrace the fire for all that it is. Life and death.


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