A fireman runs into burning buildings. He confronts the fire face-on and makes no attempt to avoid it. You can sit there and say it’s because he’s paid to do so, but I believe it’s because of something more. The man or woman running into the burning building faced fires head-on long before they ever donned the uniform. Fires are stressful — and they know that the only way to put out a fire, to control the burn, to save lives, is not to avoid it. Avoid the fire, everything burns, everyone dies.
The fireman is always aware that he may be consumed by the fire; that everything and everyone may perish. It does not deter him.
“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, [your family], traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances [or people]. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances [and people].” — Andrew Bernstein
A fire isn’t put out by walking away from it. You cannot reduce stress by simply avoiding it.
Meditation, yoga, Zen, karma…these practices are not meant to help you avoid stress. The philosophy behind all of these practices is to remained centered, confident in who you are, in the midst of chaos.
I used to believe that removing myself from the situation, walking away from the confrontation, and not dealing with relationship made life less-stressful. In reality I was doing nothing. I was letting the building burn.
“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.” — Proverbs 17:3
God, the Squadron Chief, wants us to understand that we become refined in faith and faithfulness only by going into the fire.
Every fire burns differently. Firemen don’t pick and choose which fires are the easiest to control. Firemen know fire for what it is and face it anyway.
In life, in all things, be a fireman.