I am a fireman. Running a marathon through a field of rotten crops. Crops planted with poor decision seed, bad relational seed, and a small handful of selfish seed. The good seeds choked by years of accumulated weeds. Weeds that believe they will overcome this fireman. Running, running, always pushing, always winded. With the flames of consequences ever lapping at my heels. I run in the heat. I run in the rain. I run in the snow. I run with a painted smile on my face. I run with an attitude sometimes full of hope and joy, happy to just run the race. I run some days with dread and foreboding hounding my heels threatening to over take and swallow me up. But run I must. This fireman mustn’t stop. This is a marathon I must finish, in spite of weakness; through doubt and resentment, this fireman mustn’t stop. There are, however, frequent pauses to turn and quench the fires raging with small appeasement payments. The fire is never satisfied. It roars MORE as it’s heat increases. It’s never enough, no it’s never enough no matter what this fireman does. So I pull up my boots, firmly hold the water hose and spray. Then run, this fireman runs harder. Sweat pouring bitterly out every pore. Desperate to reach the end of a field that seems to stretch to eternity. Hot voices, raspy from the heat, whisper in my ears, through headphones that can’t be removed. Constant static. Always there. Often bumping so loudly my ears bleed and the tears roll down my scorched cheeks. Volume controlled by my faith level. Some days the songs of praise and thankfulness drown out the nightmarish sounds. It seems just when this fireman wants simply to let the fire consume and end this life sucking marathon; the volume ebbs and sweet relief, like a salve is miraculously applied. It is poured over my head, precious balm of Gilead, and soothes and comforts the wounds of battle. Then there are the foxes. Foxes running on each side. Foxes with flaming tails labeled regret, resentment, blame, jealousy and anger. These are the baby foxes. There are also Mom and Pop foxes called Fuck It and Just Give Up. But a fireman mustn’t ever look to the left or to the right. NO! Keep on running, keep on spraying, stay strong little red fireman, stay strong! For there are hurdles in this field up ahead. Blockades of pity to climb. Barbed wire that scratches and screams, “You’re the only one that sacrifices! Why keep sowing good seed when you KNOW us weeds will choke you! Idiot!” “NO!” I shout back. Good seed must be carried and spilled as I run. For this fireman catches glimpses of those tender green sprouts. This fireman knows fields of glory and freedom are ahead. It is the foxes I’ve let crawl up my calves and plant their claws in my back that must be shrugged off. This fireman cannot be encumbered by unnecessary and deadly weight. Spray and sow. Run. Praise. That is the marathon firemen theme song. That is the hymn I have no choice but to turn it up. Precious rain does fall, but often this fireman forgets to look up and have my parchedness quenched. It runs down to the burnt ground leaving the Fire Chief shaking His head, His hands tied. There are warrior firemen you know. They would help my little red fireman if she would but call on them. They would come in an instant with powerful Word sprayed at those foxes.
“She’s sowing seeds of time and effort into young GBs and developing teens,” they might yell.
As the foxes attached to those she loves scream back,
“Just give me that seed and shut up!” Seeds of doing for others even when they have no thought of her!” they counter. “Stupid bitch! They will only call when they need something…hahah!”
The battle would rage but my warrior fire angels would continue to battle alongside her.
“Our fireman sows when others want to squander their seed not realizing our little red fireman sows for the good of an entire nation.”
“She’ll give in! She can’t keep up the race in those threadbare clothes. She’s made of flesh…flesh that wants things too!”
Oh my little red fireman often forgets she is not alone. No never alone.
“Look up!” The Fire Chief whispers.
“Stop at the next water station and drink in some new life. In this world, little fireman you will have struggles, but remember I have overcome them so you too can be an overcoming little red fireman. So take courage,” says the Fire Chief,o
“Run happily, continue to sow and that field of beautiful flowers will soon be on your horizon.”
I am a fireman.