A Slow Burn

Hesitantly my husband lit the large burn pile. Even though the wood was saturated from the night’s heavy rain, the wind was picking up, which always makes burning tricky. The flames suddenly brightened and shot straight up in the air. We watched as the fire slowed down and creeped across the pile.

That same fire has been slowly burning for three days. Each day, a little more of it turns to ash but it’s taking way too long, in my opinion. I asked my husband why he didn’t just relight it and burn it all up in one day instead of watching it smoke. He told me that if we would just give it time, everything would eventually burn up much cleaner if we let it slowly burn.

Obviously, patience is not something that comes easily to me. When I decide it’s time to get something done, I do it. This whole slow burn thing is killing me! But it’s also making me aware of some areas I need to work on. As I have been reclaiming things in my world, I have been tackling some pretty big projects that take a lot longer than one day to finish. My “get it done” mentality is fighting with the “slow burn” reality. Rome wasn’t built in a day and my projects, if I want them done right and well, won’t be completed in a day, either.

I read about King Solomon this morning and was reminded that his father, King David, was the one who wanted to build a temple, but the Israelites had to wait until his son, Solomon was on the throne to even start the project. Then, it still took another 13 years before the temple was finished. That’s a long time to wait on a project, but Solomon’s temple was known for its beauty and detail. He took the time, hunted down the right materials and craftsmen, and in the end created a monument to God like no one had ever seen. As I drive by the slow burning pile every day this week, I’m going to be reminded to take the time to slow down and do things right. A project done in haste will require much more future maintenance than a project that is planned out and done well the first time. Even if it takes twice as long, a slow burn is better than a futile attempt at completion any day. Be patient and give it your best!

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