The Indigenous Australians practiced a method called Fire-stick Farming where they would scorch the earth to transform vegetation and adjust the actual plant or animal species surrounding them and their village. Pause on that for a moment. Their familiar environment - everything they knew and went to for nutrition - they burned. No back up plan, no undo button, no guarantees, nothing in writing here - just faith in the process. *insert mind-blown emoji*
Recently, my faith journey has dared me to step into my own metaphoric Jordan River.
However, before I was able to reach the edge, I had to find the riverbank, and before I could find the riverbank, I had to walk the path, and before I could walk the path, I had to find God’s path, and before I could find God’s path, I had to put my faith in the process...I had to light my world on fire with the intent to transform both the external and the internal vegetation.
The fire raged. It isn’t easy to control, but that’s the point isn’t it? For us to let go and let God control the way we see those closest to us, those new to us, and those we could never imagine being a part of our journey. And if you aren’t patient in the process, it can be dangerous. I began to see the outline of a path for me with the flames dancing just on the edge of the walkway, heat flickering at me simultaneously clearing the way. Don’t misunderstand this to be easy. There are times I am terrified of where God is guiding me, and I am unable to clearly see the direction of the path ahead. God knows we might have doubts because he knows us intimately, so he places Front Row Friends (FRF) on our path to affirm the direction.
But only when we take the steps in faith.
In my life-long relationship with the church, one of the go-to bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” There are times when we are unsure what our future holds. As we begin to follow God’s path, FRF show up to fan the flames shaping our path because they are guided by God.
In this scorching season, we must keep our eyes open and alert for the new FRF that are transformed by the fire. God is actively moving and shifting our relationships. Someone who was a FRF last month might be in the third row, someone who was a FRF 10 years ago might be in the tenth row, someone who was a mentor might be a FRF, and someone you never even knew existed a month ago might be the newest FRF forged by the fire emerging onto the pathway ready to walk with you toward God’s calling.
When will you light your world on fire for God or fan the flames for your FRF?