Spiritual Survival Tip

My family has been watching a survival show this summer. It’s cool and survivaly.

After one episode where a guy traps a mouse and eats it, my son wanted to build a trap, too. I told him I was not interested in killing animals for no reason, but I gave him a couple survival books I have that showed how traps were made.

The odds of him actually doing one and catching an animal are slim to none. Trust me.

In one of my books I found the trap section and read a list of recommendations for trapping animals.

–snare birds in their nests
–put a minnow on a fish-hook by shore and let a bird get caught
–jam a sharp stick into hollow trees
–set snares on game trails

and so on. This list concluded a chapter on making traps and hunting animals. The very last option given in this list concluding the chapter is this:

If you are still without food after experimenting with these methods, set the woods or grassland on fire and wait for the game to break through.

That, my friends, is hilarious. If all else fails: light the woods on fire. I can see me sitting in the charred ruins of a forest with still no meat and now no shelter. Although I am warm.

“Light the woods on fire” is a move of desperation. “Do not use this method except as a last resort” the book says. I made sure to let my son know that before starting the yard on fire, just come in and get a sandwich.

You have to admire the guy who lights the woods on fire in a desperate struggle to get food. This guy is all in. How badly do you want food? Enough to light the woods on fire?

The Bible talks about spiritual life and the necessity for spiritual food for spiritual growth. How badly do you want to grow spiritually? Do you know you are in a pretty rough spiritual survival situation on earth?

You really have to make the time and find the energy to survive spiritually. What are you willing to do to get spiritual food? Are you willing to light the woods on fire to get it?! (Metaphorically speaking, of course)

I think this is what Jesus meant when He said that stuff about giving away your money and hating your family to follow Him. He’s telling you to light your woods on fire.

People read Jesus’ words and think, “That’s not practical! That makes no sense!” It doesn’t make sense to those who have no real need to get what Jesus wants them to get.

But it makes perfect sense if you’re desperate for spiritual food. Follow Jesus: light your woods on fire!


2 thoughts on “Spiritual Survival Tip”

  1. Incredible advice from that survival book. There was a guy in California that lit the largest wildfire in recorded Californian history, because he was lost and wanted to get attention. It cost 15 lives, and millions of dollars in damage. But he survived…so I guess it worked.


    It makes me wonder a bit though…you’re going to scare the wildlife towards you…and what makes you think you can control the fire, and outrun it if it shifts in YOUR direction?!

    I think this highlights also a problem that can also appear in the interpretation of those Bible verses. If it’s all about “saving me” and I should “hate” everyone else in order to “save myself”, then Christianity would become the most selfish religion in the world.

    But if we keep in mind that we’re saved only to give our lives for others, this helps keep out the extreme selfish applications.

    So how did Jesus “hate” his family? Well, if he had followed their ideas, which were very much in harmony with the standard Jewish interpretations of those days, then he would have ceased to build the kingdom God’s way, and the plan of salvation would have been ruined.

    So it was important, for the sake and welfare of everyone else in the world, including them, that he would put the will of God first, even opposed to their will, if need be. In the end, by doing that, he was doing what was best for them anyway, and honoring “his father and mother” in the only way they could lawfully be honored: that is, in their place. Parents, siblings, leaders…none of these must take the place of God.

    It’s the idolatry of self and the idolatry of family that needs to be broken down. This is done within ourselves.

  2. Yes, I find it to be astoundingly bad advice! As I said, I can see me sitting in a burned down forest still hungry! If the fire is moving away from me, they aren’t going to run my way anyway, if the fire is moving toward me, I need to move! I didn’t get it.

    However, limiting it to my point, there is a desperation we’re to have for God’s word–desire the sincere milk of the word as a newborn baby, that is often lacking, and lots of times it’s because we take the sting out of many verses about self-denial, take up the cross, do away with family if need be to follow Christ. Sure, a person can do all that with selfish ambition, but done in the Spirit I can’t find anything wrong with it.

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