Yesterday,  wild fires raced to the western edge of our city forcing an evacuation of an entire neighborhood and an apartment complex. The fire, which started when a tire blew on someone’s vehicle, burned 4,000 acres. At one point it was 6 1/2 miles long and a mile wide. Fifty mile an hour winds pushed it along at 6 miles an hour. And in the late afternoon the only thing that separated our street from the fire was another four lane divided road.

Taken 1 block from my house

Thankfully, the Midland fire fighters contained the fire in the early evening. Only one building was lost and everyone was allowed to return to their homes. But the fire fighters stayed on guard all night watching for hot spots. They committed themselves to protect the city, whatever it took.

All this made for a very odd day. My son spent a lot of time on the roof watching the flames and reporting back. I put a few CD’s storing photos and writing projects in a sack and threw a few clothes in a small bag. Just in case. Just in case the wind shifted directions. Just in case some embers spread the fire our direction. Then, I looked around the house trying to decide what else I couldn’t leave behind.

In the end, I decided there really wasn’t anything that couldn’t be replaced or that I couldn’t survive without. I must say this shows some growth in the five years since we did evacuate our home in Houston for hurricane Rita. (But that’s another story for another day!)

As the afternoon wound down the immediate danger passed. But unless we get some rain to relieve the drought we must continue to be on guard. Wild fires can pop up from the smallest of things. Like a blown tire.

This week our Sunday School lesson was from Colossians 3 & 4. Paul warned the Christians in Colosse to “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” To be “watchful” implies a constant spiritual alertness; to be mindful of threats and dangers; to be vigilant and on guard.

Like the Midland fire fighters stayed on guard to watch the hot spots for new fires, we must carefully guard our lives against temptations. We must watch the vulnerable and weak areas of our lives to protect ourselves from falling. We must dig ditches, water the roof, and do whatever else we can to not allow Satan to have a foothold in our lives.

What is a “hot spot” in your life? How can you remain watchful to protect yourself from falling to temptation?

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