As I write this, a forest fire blazes less than five miles from my office. As they have done for days, brave men and women firefighters from Alaska along with reinforcements from the Lower 48 battle the flames. At this time the cause of the McHugh Fire is "undetermined."
Times like these cause me to ask questions regarding importance. Residents near the fire tell reporters about their precautionary packing. They gather family photos, passports, guns, jewelry, and luggage in preparation for possible calls for evacuation. They also, obviously and thankfully, plan the exit strategy for their kids as well as their four-legged friends. I trust that, by the grace of God and the efforts of the firefighters, that the overall damage will be kept to a minimum, except for acres of trees and animal habitat.
Given the proximity of the fire, however, my mind drew me to the very small yet troubling possibility of damage to our church building. As I couldn't stop myself from engaging in a mental inventory, one of my first thoughts was my vast library. Pages and pages bound and holding an immense mass of fiction, history, poetry, commentary, lyrics, nonfiction, leadership resources, near innumerable biblical study materials and Bibles, dictionaries, Dr. Seuss books, Jack London, and Rosenthals and Lichtenheld's The OK Book. Treasures!
What do you treasure? My books rank far below family, friends, some family heirlooms, and perhaps a few more items; yet they do rank. So I discover how thankful I am for a library full of entertainment, wisdom, learning, and motivation. God willing, I will be able to enjoy them for decades to come. As a part of living my Ordinary life, I continue to read the printed treasures. They are part of what I do and who I am.
Thank You, God, for written treasures. Thank you, firefighters, for your bravery. And thank You, God, for sending the rain which is helping them fight the fire.