My sleep filled eyes stung as I struggled to open them as the thin white vapor hung in the upstairs hallway of our newly built country home.
The 80s digital clock in my mom and dad’s room flashed 8:17am in bold red numbers…. Just three hours after our whole family had arrived back home in one of the worst snow storms the local radio station had predicted that year….
Home from an attempt at plowing through the large snow drifts amidst the merciless blinding snow. My dad was determined to get our little family to the airport on time for our coveted trip to the Magic Kingdom in the US of A.
My dad had always been invincible to my young heart when it came to his skills at driving through the worst storms our Manitoba winters could hurl at us.
Today was no different as my dad successfully navigated our 70s green LTD equipped with radial studded tires, packed with his young family and all that would be needed for the trip to Disney on the south coast.
The departure lane flashed a highly disappointing “closed” sign as the realization of the closed airport sunk into our Magic Kingdom excited hearts.
Turning back was our only option now.
Once back home through the blinding snow, our disappointed selves climbed wearily back into our beds we had left behind only hours before.
My dad stoked the wood furnace in the basement to take the edge off the chill now hanging in the halls of our home on that bitterly cold January morning.
But the morning was about to take a very different turn.
As the smoke curled it’s way through our home, my little brother came racing from his room, gasping for air as his chronic asthma responded immediately to the building angry haze threatening to take even more of his air supply.
Our sleepy little family dragged ourselves from our beds as we woke fully from our deep sleeps.
Stumbling through the house, the ever thickening smoke threatened to steal our coveted air.
My eyes widened as my mind started to grasp what I was experiencing. A bright orange glow danced furiously behind every light switch as we all stumbled to the front door as the fire raged inside the walls of our new country home.
Huddling in our pajamas we had just crawled back into just hours before, on our snow packed front lawn, we watched in stunned silence as the heavily clothed firemen chopped holes vicariously into our brand new roof, trying to get to the imposter threatening our home.
In the end, our home was saved from total destruction, but not before much smoke damage had permeated the whole house.
The insurance assured our anxious family we could leave for Disney as planned the next day, as the damage would be taken care of.
As we boarded the 747 the next day, my excitement looking foreword to visiting the Magic Kingdom took my mind off of our smoke damaged home we had left behind.
“leave it behind you… Go enjoy your family vacation…. And when you get back… All will be good as new.”
And so it was.
Many years later now, I reflect on how that situation is indicative of our lives.
Sometimes our life will be filled with eye stinging smoke along with the angry glow of a raging fire behind the walls of our lives.
These conditions in our lives will keep us from living our best life… Whole and free.
Eye stinging smoke will leave us with vision skewed at best, not being able to see the clear picture of our life most days, and the raging fire behind the walls threaten to make us ill physically and mentally if we don’t take care of it.
Sometimes our God needs to “chop a whole in our roof” to let out the smoke and flames.
The chopping could look like opportunities, changes, and ultimately getting to the root of things that serve only to hurt us.
Sometimes we will need to “head to the door”…. Focus on something better God has put in front of us, and let go of trying to put out the fire and clear the smoke after all our efforts have been exhausted.
There is a time in our lives when things in our lives should be left with Him to deal with as we take our hands off the situation.
And when we “come back”… He will have done what only He can do when we let go…refocus…. leaving Him to deal with the smoke and flames….
When our house (Life) is on fire.