We have a fireplace. It's not a big one. Mostly decorative. Doesn't put out a lot of heat. The doors are lousy and don't always work right. Still, I love to make fires in the fireplace!
My husband does not.
On Christmas morning, he'd much rather turn on the fake yule log our local TV station airs than start a real one. Actually, I do most of the fires. I was, after all, a Girl Scout. I'm pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. But the yule log wins out. It's not as pretty as the fire my small, impractical fireplace can produce. And the 1970s instrumental Christmas music loop that comes with it is pretty rough.
Blecch. Nothing beats a real fire. The color, the sound, the smell, the warmth. If we didn't have a fireplace, sure, the one on TV would suffice. But we do have a real fireplace. We even have some firewood in the garage, some wood shavings and pine cones to get it started, and one of those sticky fire starter bricks (just in case). We have everything we need to get a fire burning, but we don't often make one.
It's too much work. It takes forever to get started. I'll get dirty. The hearth will get dirty. Sometimes a little smoke escapes into the house and makes it smell weird. All the tools are in the garage so our son doesn't touch them, so I have to go out to the cold garage to retrieve them. Someone has to clean out the ashes. We have to make sure it's out before we go to bed.
I have the same list of excuses for my faith. I have all the tools I need to be a passionate, fiery Christian; I just lack the will to do it. There are plenty of excuses. I'll have to change how I'm living. I'll actually have to read my Bible. I'll have to interact with other people and be compassionate and share God with them. I'll need to pray and that means taking time out of my preferred activities. I'll have to serve at church. I'll have to love people I barely like most days. I'll have to live out my faith all week long, not just on Sundays. That's too exhausting.
I have the TV yule log version of faith sometimes. There's a visual, but there's no heat. And there's nothing like the real thing—a real faith that burns for God. The people I know who are fiery for God are awesome. I always think, "I'd like to have that! I want to be like that!"
And then I settle for less. I settle for the TV fire instead of a real one. Lame!
Are you a real fire or the TV yule log?
P.S. - If you're looking for something to ignite your faith, Margaret Feinberg is having a sale on her books every day this week! Check out her blog to see what today's deals are!