Friday, July 28, 2017

Getting Burned

When I was 13-years old, my buddy and I had a bright idea. On the back of his family property was an old cave. One day, we thought we would explore its interior. We got some tree branches and wrapped them in old bed sheets and dipped them in gas. Our plan was to walk into the cave as far as possible with available daylight then light our handmade torches to continue moving into the unexplored depths of the cave.

We got about 50 feet inside the cave when it got dark enough to want some extra light. My friend took out a book of matches and lit his torch. We would then use his torch to light mine and move deeper into the cave to find any hidden treasure. We saw this done in an old movie. Well, that was the plan. Unknown to our undeveloped intellects was the fact that gasoline gives off fumes that had been filling the cave as we moved deeper into the interior. When my friend lit his match he ignited the gas fumes creating an explosion. After the ball of fire flashed, we ran out into the light of day minus our eyebrows and with hair that looked like someone used a butane torch to attempt some cruel form of hairstyling. We looked at each other with soot-covered faces in disbelief at what had taken place. I think our torches are still somewhere inside that cave waiting for a future team of archaeologists to discover them as proof of the existence of an early civilization of cave dwelling people in the area.

I thought of that story this morning when I was contemplating the relational expeditions of life. We enter friendships, marriage and business arrangements not taking into account the reactive potential some of these relationships have. We need outside input to say to us, “That is really a dumb idea!” I am sure had we mentioned our expedition to my friend's dad he would have offered us flashlights. 

Some things need to be left at the entrance of our relationships – things that have a negative explosive potential that could harm the participants. Unhealthy demands, premature judgments and dishonoring words are ignition points the cannot accompany us if we want to move deeper into a relationship and discover the hidden treasure that only love can reveal. Explore life with wisdom and ask for help. It will keep you from getting burned.

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