Pyrotechnic Ponderings

Many of you experienced some form of fireworks, live, televised, or photographed, over this past Labor Day weekend.  I was able to attend the Sky Concert in downtown Indianapolis Saturday night and watch one of the finest fireworks shows of my life.  The weather, the company, and the location were all stupendous, but the fireworks themselves left a lasting impression on me.  As I watched the brilliant bursts of color fly, fan, and fade over the deep night sky, an analogy of fireworks and the Christian life began to spin around in my mind.  I reclined on the sheet, a gentle and warm summer breeze teasing and twisting wisps of my hair around my neck, completely lost in my world of thought for about 10 solid minutes, turning this idea over and around, expanding upon and varying the idea as the fireworks themselves expanded and varied.

(Does this mean that I am a.) a disconnected poetess who lives in a dream world of ideas, b.) an official and total geek, in that I cannot even relax and enjoy fireworks on a holiday without analyzing them, or c.) finally getting the hang of this “taking every thought captive to Christ”; total integration of a Christian worldview, so that any and everything reminds me of my Lord?)

So here is my theory of similarity of Christians and fireworks.  The base is that fireworks’ job is explode to the best of their capacity; the Christian’s job is to do obey Christ in whatever he or she is called to do, both as primary calling ( what you are-adoptee of God) and secondary calling (what you do).  The goal of a firework show is to provide the most visually stimulating presentation; the goal of the Christian life is to glorify God and enjoy Him.

First of all, diversity.  That leads to several notes:

  • a.) The fireworks are of all different colors, and that variety is necessary for the best visual effect. Similarly, as Christian individuals, we are different in talents, situations, and so forth, and that variety is necessary to the best fulfillment of the goal of human existence (the glorification and enjoyment of God).
  • b.) They are of different sizes. A big firework is not better than a small one, it is just bigger. Big ones have their place, and the small ones do too-we need both high-profile Christians and seemingly anonymous ones.

Second, timing and placement.

  • a.) Sometimes just one or two fireworks would explode; other times a group would be set off all at once. Each was beautiful and visually powerful, and the engineers of the show knew that. Similarly, at times we are called to work alone, and other times we walk “the pilgrim way” with many. God brings just the right people at the right time for the best effect, sometimes simultaneous, sometimes staggered, but always for our good (this does not mean always for our fun) and His glory.
  • b.) Some fireworks were high in the sky, while others were launched low. They are set off at different angles and speeds, each contributing to the best effect. In like manner, we have different opportunities and paths within our Christian journey. We need not worry about needing to be like someone else, or having their calling/opportunities/position, because God has just the right launch angle, direction, position, speed, and timing for you and your lifework.
  • c.) The variations of timing and number meant that at times large quantities of fireworks were shooting and every direction, while a minute later only one or two would be detonating. This was aesthetically pleasing; the lulls made the heavy times more powerful, and the high caliber times made the calm particularly enjoyable. The same thing goes for our Christian lives-there is a rhythm within our journey that will provide maximum growth for us and maximum glory to God, if we choose to accept and even revel in both the wild and the mild, knowing He has a purpose for all things.

Finally, ultimate destination.

  • a.) All the fireworks had the same goal-they accomplished it in different ways, but they all achieved it. I’m not saying that the ends justify the means; my point is that the petty differences that we squabble over so much in this life are really insignificant when we still reach the goal.
  • b.) All the fireworks had the same end-they burnt out and became naught but a little puff of smoke, no matter if they were long or short, spreading or small, white, red, blue or green, shimmering or stark, they all ended quickly and vanished from memory. So many things we worry about, especially along the lines of appearances, are truly meaningless in the context of the transiency of human life and the eternality of God. Live every moment for His glory, for the moments are few. Don’t worry about 3 minutes or 3 decades from now; He is in control. Let go. Realize that we are but a delicate flower that fades in the heat of the morning. This does not lead us to an attitude of dejection, depression, or despair (Nihilism). Rather, it brings us to a closer, deeper grounding of our reality in Christ; a recognition that material and corporeal things matter so much less than we think.

 

In summary, fireworks remind us to accept differences, wait upon God’s timing, and to understand what truly matters and where we are going in the end.  Don’t get hamstrung by trivial things.  Trust in God.  Believe with your heart, your mind, your soul and your actions that He is faithful and just. 

Psalm 37 really embodies this attitude of peace and trust to me.  (Read it now!)

Thanks for reading my pyrotechnic ponderings.  As always, comments are most welcome. Never fear if you’ve never left one before or think your thoughts are insignificant; there’s a first time for everything, including de-lurking. I promise to read your response, and may well post a reply.   

Alexandra

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Published in: on September 1, 2008 at 9:50 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hi Alex –

    Only had time to scan it (insane day at work), but from what I saw it looks like it’s going to be a great read!

    Looking forward to getting off of work tonight.

    Ben


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