I think I know what it feels like to send one’s son off to war--proud but a bit anxious! Zach’s not in the military, but he’s fighting wildfires this summer. Much of the western United States is either burning or under a red-flag warning, due to way-above-average heat and way-below-average moisture. Many of us who have family or friends on wildfire crews are praying for divine protection, strength, and hydration (yesterday’s mercury hovered around 100°) for our loved ones. At the same time, agencies like the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are issuing warnings and restrictions in the hopes of preventing any more dangerous and costly wildfires.
Most of us would never dream of throwing a cigarette out of a car window, setting off a firecracker over a dry pasture, or leaving a campfire that hasn’t been thoroughly extinguished. But according to the Bible, there’s more than one way to start a wildfire:
“It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.” JAMES 3:5
Hmm. That verse kind of makes me want to issue myself a gag order!