It’s fire season in the Cariboo. Time for breathing smoke and checking wildfire updates. Wildfires out of control have a way of changing your patterns and priorities.
It has become our habit each summer to pack things that have meaning to us into our pick-up truck and leave it in town whenever we go away. At least our most treasured possessions would be saved if a fire swept our home away. Living in the bush with no fire protection makes us consider what is most important if we had to choose to save only a few possessions. I have realized that I actually pack up less each year. As I grow older, less of my ‘stuff’ is important and the truck is more empty each season.
Contemplating my ‘stuff’ leads to asking the bigger questions about what is important in my life. Where are my priorities? What in my life is really worth focusing on and what will last? A poem reads: Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
One day, death will come like a consuming fire and burn up all the ‘stuff’ of our lives. How much of what I spend my time and energy on will last through that fire? Only what I’ve done for Christ. When I leave ministry what will remain is the love of Jesus that I’ve been able to share with people here.
What will endure of my legacy in my family will be how well I poured out my faith in Jesus into my children and eventually grandchildren. They say you can’t take anything with you, but we can leave with more than we came with as we grow in our love for Jesus and we leave that behind for others when we go. I hope you can get some fire perspective on what is important in your life, what will last.
Shannon Bell is a pastor with the Cariboo Presbyterian Church in Nazko.