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Imagine a little flame inside you wanting to join the big flame from which it came: God Himself

Kindling The Flame That Is God


By —— Bio and Archives--November 26, 2018

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Kindling The Flame That Is God
When my boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird, a master teacher, intended to plant life lessons indelibly in my mind, he often clarified the unfamiliar by discussing the familiar. Once when I asked how I could serve God as well as he did, he pointed to flames flickering in his fireplace and began a lesson that made the unfamiliar familiar.

“Imagine a little flame inside you wanting to join the big flame from which it came: God Himself. Even if a man ignores his conscience — God’s voice — for so long that only a tiny spark of that little flame remains, even then it yearns to burst into a roaring blaze, signifying a loving bond with the Divine Flame that is God, the light of the universe.”

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Without God, life has no meaning

After letting those thoughts sink in, my teacher continued: “Son, when you become a man, your nature’s animal side — Satan at work — will struggle to defeat your nature’s spiritual side. His evil temptations, among them the desire for material instead of spiritual wealth, never let up.

“In everyone, this good versus evil war is unending. Although you will lose many battles, you will win the war by practicing goodness toward others, thus making that flame inside you glow brighter and brighter, looking forward to uniting with the eternal flame that is God.”

When I asked where to start in this war within, he said, “God is in you, and will fight for you, but before He does, He expects you to look within yourself, to find Him there. At the same time, Satan will work to prevent you from doing so. The only way to win this battle is to seek God’s help through constant prayer. He listens; He answers.”

To the depths of his soul, Jaybird believed that without God, life has no meaning. He had no doubt that, on Judgment Day, those who serve God and strive to glorify His name won’t hear Him speak these seven words of hopelessness: “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Instead, they will hear these seven words of great joy: “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

With his loving arm around me, the old black man continued: “My son, one of the best times to set that little flame inside to roaring is when life is so difficult that you can’t seem to go on. Then, you must turn to Him with a contrite heart. The uplifting power of divine grace not only brings you through difficult times, but also strengthens the faith needed to face and overcome whatever difficulties lie ahead.”

Then, the master teacher finished: “If we weren’t God’s children, if we didn’t have that divine spark within us, we couldn’t comprehend anything beyond a sort of animal existence. We could not understand that only this present moment exists. It is where a past that no longer is, meets a future that is not, meaning we must focus day by day on life’s most important task: Kindling the flame that is God.”

 


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Jimmy Reed -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jimmy Reed is an Oxford, Mississippi resident, Ole Miss alumnus, Army veteran (Vietnam Era), former Mississippi Delta cotton farmer and ginner, author, and retired college teacher. His short story anthology, Boss, Jaybird And Me, is available at Squarebooks.com (telephone: 662-236-2262). His latest collection of faith-based short stories, entitled One Hundred By Five Hundred, is also available at Square Books (telephone: 662-236-2262) and at amazon.com. To receive Reed’s free weekly newsletter, send an email address to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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