Light a Fire

What gets you excited? So stoked that you transcend a task list and do what you love to do, regardless of how long it takes or how much you need to accomplish? In a recent Bloomberg Businessweek interview, inventor Dean Kamen said that, “Education is not filling a pail, but lighting a fire.”

Life, much like education, is about lighting a fire. It is also keeping the fire lit and burning bright. Excitement is fire. It spreads, it infects. It causes insomnia, positive anxiety, and gets your heart beating.

Excitement tells you that you’re still alive.

How much of your life feels dead? Is your job dead, lacking enthusiasm? Your pursuit of education? Your faith?

Last night, in a meeting about local and international missions for my church, a guy was talking about capitalizing on the passion and enthusiasm of people who are returning from short-term mission trips in order to generate more interest in the overall congregation. His phrase that he said twice stuck in my mind: “If we were able to let people share their stories, their passion would spread like wildfire on a windy day.”

This leads me to the question: Do you know your story?

We all have a story to tell and each is uniquely interesting. But many of us either don’t believe that our story is worth telling or don’t know how to tell it.

Something happens when you listen to a captivating storyteller. You get quiet, you lean forward, your heart beats and the hairs on your arm stand up.

A woman at the Clark County Mayors’ and Civic Leaders’ Prayer Breakfast this past Thursday shared three stories of her travels throughout the world providing medical care in the name of Jesus. She spoke of healing, transcending religious and gender barriers in order to provide medical care that was necessary for people in need. She spoke with quiet authority and simmering passion, slowly boiling over into a passionate story of God’s amazing work done through her. She was a captivating storyteller. A room of 800 got quiet, leaned forward, and could feel the collective heart beating a little quicker.

The fire is lit. Burning bright and warm.

It spreads.

People will never be the same.