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Fanning your faith into flame

Regular columnist Jane Walters offers some encouragement for those of us whose who feel our spark is dim.

I’ve been thinking about setting fires lately – not in any vengeful, stuff-of-movies kind of way, I hasten to add. I’m no expert, having never been a Girl Guide, but I do know a few things that guarantee success and some that guarantee failure:

  • Never try to light wet stuff. Unless you’re Elijah, it’s a definite no-no.
  • Never try to tip petrol over it in an attempt to speed things up. Things get fast really quick this way.
  • Shield your match with your hand as you show it to the pile. Especially when you’re down to your last one.
  • Don’t add too many sticks too soon. The fire needs fuel, for sure, but you don’t want to stifle the life out of its tender flame.
  • Have water close by. Fire isn’t picky about what it burns.

This might be rather tongue-in-cheek, but I do have a point to make. My normal working routine involves giving some music lessons from my home and spending the rest of my time writing. Recently, however, I took a break from the writing in order to get on with renovating my house. The thinking time will do me good, I told myself. I’ll be so much more productive when my house is all shiny and new. The reality, though, was somewhat different.
While my house was indeed coming along nicely, a curious shift had occurred on the writing front. Out of the swing of things, my confidence dipped. Questions normally held at bay came rushing to the fore. Why did I bother? Wasn’t the world groaning under the weight of books already? What could I possibly add? The flame that normally burns as a kind of pilot light in the background was beginning to fade. My insides felt like they were going cold.
I’m sure I’m not alone in having had a season like this. Once again, the pandemic has so much to answer for. Perhaps you’ve lost confidence in going out - perhaps your social skills are rusty. Maybe business, that was once booming, is now just trickling along and you’re wondering how long it can survive.
Maybe even Your church attendance, curtailed and thwarted for so long, hasn’t picked up even though the services are back on. You only have to leave a fire unattended for a short while to find it languishing and on the verge of going out.
But…here’s some good news! Rake through the ash and you’ll find heat hiding in there. Careful persuasion and fresh fuel can literally re-ignite it. Fan into flame the gift of God (2 Tim. 1:6). Don’t give up hope!

The image above is courtesy of pixabay.com.

Jane Walters 175Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield. Visit: janewyattwalters.com


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