Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said, “Abba Joseph, as much as I am able, I keep the small rule, I fast, I keep vigil, I pray. What else should I do?”
Abba Joseph then stood up, and stretched his hands up to the heavens, and said, “Why not be turned into fire?”
I get shivers and thrills every time I read that. I've read that story from time to time over the last, what, two decades. There is something that simply grabs at my soul when I read...
"Why not be turned into fire?"
A fire isn't controlled by "small rules". A fire goes all out. ALL OUT.
I've always wanted that. To just be...aflame. To be bright and burning and unstoppable and illuminating and full of zeal. Where we have this vision of what we are and what we can be and we just feel obstacles fall away and the power grow within us. We simply BURN....
I have had moments and phases of fire about various things. Studies. My faith journey. My writing. Days are more vivid and work flows and life is just more colorful when we're on fire, isn't it? We don't have to ask for ways to get motivated. We are BURNING UP and nothing stops us.
I'd say that my best run with diet and exercise last winter/spring was a time of me having become fire, a big laughing ball of flame, for a time. For a brief time when it felt nearly effortless. The rest of the last 1 1/2 years have been work, but I've had joy. Joy at the progress.
Fires can dim...and they can burn out.
I'm slightly dimmer, but I'm amazed that nearly 20 months into my "I commit to lose weight" journey, I haven't burned out. Usually, by a month's end, I was done.
My fire ain't out. It's just smaller. A more homely little hearth fire, not a festival bonfire.
Is yours dimmer? Is it out?
Sometimes, it never burns as bright again. Sometimes, you simple keep the vision in your head until the fire returns, and hope that the next time, it's an undying sun.
I'm out to not just BE on fire, but become fire. Be the thing that must burn, and burn, and must continue to burn, because that's what fire does. Fire refuses to not burn.
Well, this is the year of the dragon. Dragons breathe fire.
I'm ready to breathe fire....eat fire...then be fire....have impurities burn up, turn whatever is in my way to ash.... and shine....
So...time to pray.
Hat tip: I got thinking about this "desert fathers" story when I saw Loretta's doodle today. See it here.