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Thoughts of a radical pastor Ansell: Is it easy to let the God-Fire burn out?

Ken Ansell
Ken Ansell

I’ve shared before about the dust mop of a dog we call Buster. Santa Claus gave him to our youngest daughter Klaire (the 22-year-old grad student that used to live at our house) when she was in fourth grade. 

Buster has been referred to as the gift that kept on giving — sometimes that giving was good and sometimes it was not so good. Buster was a Shih Tzu and I’m guessing like most Shih Tzus he snored, and snoring probably wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t sleep in our bed and sleeping in our bed would probably not be so bad if he was not a bed hog.  Besides that, he was the perfect houseguest. Buster had been a part of the family for 13 years but last week he reached the end of his life.

Buster was really our first family pet and he was attached to the Blonde and so for 13 years he was Jennifer’s companion. Mostly blind, mostly deaf, mostly bald he was like a little old man. Buster became very anxious and had chronic trembling, he had to be carried off the bed to eat and drink. Jennifer was getting up in the night sometimes two and three times to let him drink.

My point is, we really didn’t see Buster getting old, it’s like one day this puppy that was full of energy and liked to play fetch was now almost an invalid, requiring a lot of care and attention. It’s been fun to watch old videos of him and this is what made us realize we didn’t see the decline until it had reached its peak.

We miss Buster. I’m thinking about banning the use of his name because it makes me sad. It will be OK to talk about him but just refer to him as “the dog.”  

All of this made me think about us, me and you. I wonder if it’s easy to drift from a spiritual perspective. As we get older physically, do we maybe become less enthusiastic and energetic toward spiritual things or things of God? 

This is why the Apostle Paul told a young, middle-aged preacher named Timothy to fan into flame the gift that had been given him (2 Timothy 1:6). Is it easy to let the God-Fire burn out or at least become barely aglow? This is the word the Paul used in his letter to the Church at Rome, “Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord (Romans 12:11).” Paul also told us that he did not run the Christian race “like someone running aimlessly; (1st Corinthians 9:26)”.

Aimless, I don’t ever want to be that. So what’s the remedy? 

I’m a fan of the Red Letters and Jesus told the church in Revelation 2:4 & 5, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first.” 

That’s the remedy, remember what it was like when you were first in love with Jesus? Remember how much fun it was to change your status on your social media accounts, bring that kind of excitement back into the relationship — does that make sense? 

Remember the wonder of Jesus and let that compel you to live a life with aim.  He told me to tell you that.