Too Close to the Fire

I have an insane, neurotic golden retriever. I think she was a puppy mill puppy…too much inbreeding or something that messed with her head. We rescued her when she was 7 months old. She really has all kinds of bizarre behaviors. Just now she reminded me of myself…

…she likes to sit right UNDER the wood burning stove. In fact, she sits so close to it that she has singed her eyebrows every year we have had her. I don’t know if she gets such comfort being near the heat or what it is.

Frankly, I think she sits there because she wants to be sure that if any reflections or lights or shadows “escape” from the fire, she is there to chase them down. She is obsessed by lights, reflections and shadows. Things without substance.

She is so drawn to whatever it is, that she doesn’t sense that being that close to the fire is *harmful*. There is something about being there that she so fixates on that she misses this important thing. Whatever reward there is for her in being near the fire, there are potentially devastating detriments. She could singe not just her eyebrows, but her fur and skin.

How like her I am…I tend to play, rest, nestle in too close to the fire, fixating on something that has my attention, failing to be vigilant–often, I fixate on something that is sin…or at the very least lacks substance and in my fixation I fail to see how near the fire I am and the potential consequences to my lack of vigilance.

Today’s lesson in The Lord’s Table workbook deals with this very issue. I found it especially pertinent as I look toward the end of my fasting of sweets to the Lord. I have been obsessing about this. Am I not playing too close to the fire, perhaps? I am obsessing about this when maybe God just wants me to keep a good distance from *FIRE* and allow HIM to fill my vision. Instead of fixating on things that lack substance–all the what IFs–maybe just cling to Him and heed his call. If Daisy, our golden retriever, would listen to us and stay away from the fire, she wouldn’t have to worry about being burned.

If I choose in the days ahead to allow the LORD to fill my vision, if I turn away from what ifs and obsessive thoughts about “Can I handle it?” I am convinced he will show me the way, HIS way…to enjoy the blessings he offers without being burned by my lack of vigilance.

The objective of today’s lesson is to increase our awareness of the purpose of sin and the devil. We must know that they are out to devour and consume us. (TLT, p. 131)

I want to stand clear of the fire and focus on the Lord.

Therefore, let us not expend energy thinking about food; that is, counting calories, reading labels, or fixating on food in any other manner. It is far more important that we consider how we may fatten up our souls that it is how we may slim down our bodies. Food and our physical bodies are temporary. Eat in moderation, enjoy what you eat, and then get on with what is truly of value–pursuing intimacy with Jesus Christ. (TLT, p. 132)