Fire As A Force Of Nature And Man

So fire is a tool for heating and cooking, but obviously it is also a destructive force that can be and is weaponized.

From tales and mythologies of old, dragons would spew fire from their mouths and destroy the enemy leaving only maybe their charred remains (likely, we will get to see more of that in Season 8 of Game of Thrones coming up soon).

In the 20th century, flamethrowers were widely used in World War I and II, and today thermonuclear weapons create great fireballs and mushroom clouds.

But already as far back as the Bible, Samson fought with fire against the Philistines.

He caught 300 foxes, tied them tail to tail in pairs and put a lite torch between them and they ran terror and havoc through his enemy’s encampment.

By the time of the Greek and Roman Empires, they would use catapults to hurl pots or bundles of flaming materials at their enemies.

In the Movie, Gladiator, upon releasing these catapults, he orders: “Unleash Hell!”

During the Spanish Inquisition, the inquisitor and his henchman would force Jews and others to convert or face execution by fire in the auto-da-fe.

Again in the Salem Witch Hunts, they would burn suspected witches at the stake.

And in more recent times, in the War Against Terror, ISIS was shown in videos that went viral torching those they considered infidels.

The other night watching a movie, “Redbad,” there was a riveting scene, where the Franks pour accelerants on live pigs and then light them up with torches and send them darting like crazy into the enemy ranks and villages.

Fire for good or for evil, those flaming pigs, I will never forget. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Need For Speed

Speed

In the gym this morning, I watched Joel Osteen giving his Sunday sermon on the monitor. 


The guy is a genius–always on message, always inspiring hope, always uplifting the masses. 


Today, he spoke about acceleration. 


The idea was that no matter how deeply bad our situation in life (e.g. illness, debt, demoted) and no matter how many months or years it would normally take us to recover or get out of it, G-d can accelerate things so that we are healed, solvent, or promoted tomorrow. 


He didn’t say this, but as I understand it, G-d is above time and space, and so he can move you faster out of your funk then anyone would normally think.


Osteen gave the analogy of a bow an arrow, and the further back you are pulled–the more pressure and tension you are under in life–then the further and faster, G-d can propel you forward. 


To me it’s interesting that when we are enjoying a wonderful moment in life, that we wish time would slow or completely stop, so we could savor the good times that much longer or just “stay in the moment forever.”


And at other times, when we are down and suffering, the days of despair and defeat can drag on and on, and it seems like the hours and days just don’t pass fast enough…it’s almost like torture in that it seem to go on forever. And that is when, we hope and pray for a speedy resolution to whatever ails us–we just want to be free from the problems, the illness, the suffering–and so if only, we could leap forward in time and this “would all be over.” 


If you are happy, life is too short.  But if you are in pain and suffering, every moment can be torture.


So if we are worthy, time can magnify and be an accelerant for prolonging the good times and getting out of the bad times (or G-d forbid, it can work in reverse as well–shortening the good times in life and extending out the bad ones). 


Similarly, long life can be a blessing if we are healthy and able to enjoy a real quality of life or it can be grueling for those in pain and suffering. 


My wife told me about this news item from a couple of days ago, where a guy won the lottery, but shortly after was murdered–his life cut short–in a home invasion (this “lucky” guy never got to enjoy his winnings).


G-d who controls time (and space) has quite a lot of leeway to test us or meet out justice–just speed things up or slow things down and the experience and feelings are magnified accordingly. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to spitfirelas)