"While I was musing, the fire burned"
My family went camping last month. Are you a camper? Tent or trailer? Or does your idea of "roughing it" mean a hotel that doesn't have a restaurant?
We tent camp. My parents are campers, so I did a lot of camping growing up, especially in my teen years, and we always stayed in a tent. A lot of our friends use trailers now, but for me, it's just not the same. Don't get me wrong ~ I'm sure those people are getting a better night's sleep than I am... But since I've grown up tent camping, there are aspects of that I just can't imagine giving up. Little things, like the sound of the zipper on the tent, or the rustling sound of the sleeping bags.
Every night, after sitting around the campfire for the evening, we brush our teeth, and then go in the tent for the night. That's a sweet time for me. Reading a little by lantern light, then snuggling down into my sleeping bag and listening to the river in the distance. Being in a trailer wouldn't be quite the same.
Another wonderful thing about sleeping in a tent is the opportunity to do my waking up in the great outdoors. I mean sure, I wake up in the tent, but then I go outside to do my "waking up". You know ~ that blinking thing your eyes and your brain have to do before you fully reach consciousness. Well the best place to do that ~ the best ~ is in front of a campfire. The sights and sounds and smells of campers and nature waking up are unlike anything else. The sight, sound and smell of a campfire is even better. When we camped with my folks, my dad was the first one awake. He would get up and build a fire, and one by one we would emerge from the tent, blinking, to sit around the fire. Now the Apple of my Eye does the honors.
I love fire. I mean, in a good way. Nothing else can be used to benefit our lives in the same way. It cooks and warms and lights and comforts and protects. And there's just something about looking at a fire. The way it dances and moves; the way the colors change and rearrange. Fire is mysterious, powerful, beautiful, and hard to describe. I think that's why it's so hypnotic to look at. It's so forceful, and yet so elusive and intangible at the same time. And I like that it makes me think of Him. It's like Him, and of Him and used by Him. Powerful and beautiful and awe-inspiring.
"the Angel of the Lord appeared to him
in a flame of fire"
"the Lord went before them... by night
in a pillar of fire to give them light"
"the sight of the glory of the Lord
will be like a consuming fire"
"the Lord your God is a consuming fire"
"His eyes were like a flame of fire,
and on His head were many crowns"
"So the Light of Israel will be for a fire,
and his Holy One for a flame"