It is 2:00 a.m. as I write these words. I awoke an hour ago to the strong smell of smoke. We have experienced smoke from forest fires before, but this was the strongest yet, almost like a billowing smoke warning us that fire was near. Since we are surrounded by forest, I was concerned. As I rustled in bed, Jan said, “I smell smoke.” Immediately I was out of bed trying to find the source.
After a few minutes of checking our property, I got in my truck and drove the roads around our home to see where the smoke was coming from. After about 30 minutes, I returned home. No flames in sight. We were officially “up,” so I put the coffee on and went through my mental checklist of evacuation plans just in case. I called the non-emergency number of our fire department. I was told no reports of a fire. All is well at this point.
It is amazing how simple things get when you think you might have to evacuate and run for your life. In an emergency, my go-list is simple and prepared. Jan, our dog, a briefcase filled with important documents, a few survival resources, and out the door we would go if needed. I am ready. What I am not ready for is the unknown that would follow. That is in the Lord’s hands.
If you had to do a spiritual or emotional evacuation with no time to spare, what are the essentials of your faith? Do you know where they are stored? Are they ready to go? While it can a bit disconcerting having to think through the basics of what you would need to take with you in a natural disaster, it is an important exercise to complete. It is also a valuable exercise for a believer if the familiar trappings of your faith are ever removed from your life.
This morning, I am thinking about smoke, fires, and possible evacuation in the natural. Spiritually and emotionally, in this pandemic/riot/election crazy time, I have once again boiled my faith down to just the essentials - love God and love people. It keeps me mobile and unencumbered, able to move with the Spirit wherever He leads. As a result, I have defined what I need to live my faith on the run. That has been a refreshing and affirming exercise.