Words from Dic(tionary)
Aflame: (adv.) in flames; burning
I really don’t sit around and question if there was a Snow White and if she befriended seven short chaps with various personality quirks. I try to have enough sense to catch the essence of the story–the meaning of the tale–without having to verify the veracity of the characters involved.
I bring this up today because I was thinking of a story from the Good Book about a burning bush. According to the folk-lore, Moses saw one in the wilderness which also talked to him, relating the details of a mission and a great odyssey. I suppose if you are intent on proving that everything must have actually happened in order to acquire wisdom from it, you are probably so jaded that you mock this situation as completely implausible, and therefore worthless.
But since I tend to believe that the stories told in the Good Book were related to give us a quick snapshot of the heart and mind of God, I am able to read them without cynically rejecting them, because I deem some factoid to be ridiculous.
What strikes me about this story of the burning bush is that when God decides to speak to one of His children, He feels no compulsion to kill even a random bush to achieve His conversation. For that’s what it says: the bush was on fire but was not consumed.
I like that.
After all, in our day and age, it seems that people are unable to achieve the sensation of being “aflame with desire” without burning out.
Can we not agree that passion is passion–whether it’s emotional passion creating empathy, spiritual passion that generates compassion, mental passion, which pursues knowledge, or physical passion, which activates a lust for romance?
In all of these cases, if we learn from the story of Moses and the burning bush, we must realize that our Creator never intended us to burn out just because we’re aflame.
What I have become in the nature of things, through the pursuit of happiness and in the acquisition of multiplying my talents, is a crock pot instead of a barbecue pit.
In all areas of my life, I burn. I’m aflame. Whether I’m going to the grocery store or writing this essay to you, there is a heat and a passion that is involved and at work. But it’s a slow cooker.
- I never take myself too seriously.
- I never purge my soul with incrimination.
- And I refuse to chase dreams without possessing good cheer.
I want to be a bush that burns without being consumed. I want to be aflame–to give off light and share my warmth without threatening others with fiery consequences.
There is much to learn from stories, whether they be from the Good Book, Mother Goose or Stephen King. And here’s my thought: if we want to understand the heart of God, we will learn how to play with fire … without getting burned.