Often I am amazed by firefighters. Not by the sentimental rose-coloured “Saviours of the Universe” – not even by their hunky uniforms (as I have heard some of the ladies comment with a drool).
I am amazed that they do not fear fire. They do not fear that raging demon of iniquity. They turn up with sirens blaring, lights a-flashing, size up what needs to be done – and then get to work.
That always amazes me.
And I have heard, I have seen, and “I know” all about the equipment, the science, the training. I know in my head why. But emotionally? I remain amazed.
And the thing that always gets me?
They have so much fun when the cameras go into a station and focus on the one cooking breakfast or dinner. Always the hilarity. Always the wind-ups. And always interrupted by the klaxon as they all troop off to the next call.
Why do I mention this?
I am seeing a load of the same theme and message in the blogs of 2015. There is a depressing familiarity with 2014. With 2013. And probably every year preceding year as well.
The theme of “no one promised the good life to a Christian”. The theme of “how much pain and suffering can you take”. The message of “give it all up baby – you know you don’t want to – but you gotta – you really gotta!”
I am not sure what appeal this has for those yet to find the joy and relationship of our Lord. Because I find less and less reason for that message either. I wonder sometimes if I am becoming a Godly firefighter. The science and the training and the equipment? That’s how you get the job done. That’s how you stay safe. Most of the time. And sometimes bad things happen. That’s the job.
And when I keep seeing the Godly messages of pain and suffering – the question repeated so often: just how much commitment have you really given? Whilst I know in my head why. I know why this theme of deprivation and hardship keeps being pounded and pounded …
Emotionally it sucks! More and more it is missing the point for me.
Just as a firefighter would dismiss my fears and concerns on their behalf. Because when I look at firefighters – I only know from the outside – not the inside. I only know with my head – not my heart. I am not a firefighter. I am a wannabee.
I look at firefighters with amazement. I look at what they do. I look at what they are. I look at how they behave.
Because they don’t talk much. They don’t tie themselves in knots about how much you gotta give, how much pain you gotta bear, but dammit all – someone’s got to do it!
They simply shrug their shoulders and get the job done.
And the most amazing thing of all?
For each and every “firefighter vacancy” – there are so many more who apply. Every vacancy is so oversubscribed. So many people want to become firefighters. Every time.
It makes me wonder sometimes.