How did you come to be a firefighter?
I have told you my story. What is yours?
What drove you to pursue this endeavor?
Take a moment and ponder this question: Have your motivations to be a firefighter changed over the course of your service? “Just as perceptions of the situation change with experience, so do the number and degree of factors that must be considered change as the member’s responsibilities increase.” (John Norman)
Do you feel called?
What does it mean to be called?
To summon or appoint as you are a firefighter. “Many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
Out of 380 million people in this nation only approximately 1 million are firefighters. At this point, some of you may stop reading because you don’t feel a spiritual connection to what you do. Maybe you don’t believe in God and maybe you don’t believe in being called but I challenge you to take a closer look at the job description of a firefighter for a moment.
Look deeper than the skills, tactics, and bravado.
Look past the “no fear stickers”, the firefighter models, and the hero awards.
What makes a person want to sacrifice their time, effort, money, and even their life for little or no pay with no thought of recognition? Have you responded to God’s calling?
You respond to others in need, yet God has given you a divine invitation:
“Call to me and I will answer you.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Read the following quote and think about the role of a firefighter again.
God asks that all that follow His will do to so by using their callings in ways that help others and witness to God’s love for humanity. Each person will have a “gift of the Spirit” to use in his or her calling. There are two kinds of calling. The first is to worship God alone and to believe the gospel, namely that salvation has been won by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The second is to live for God through active use of gifts and talents, serving others and renewing creation.” (Big Ideas of the Bible-Mark Fickler)
Are you actively using your gifts and talents, serving others by using your calling in a way that helps others to witness God’s love for humanity?
My friends, if you are a firefighter, you are doing just that. Some may view this as heretical but I ask you to look at the “what” you are doing each and every day as a firefighter. If you are a firefighter, you are never off duty. Your mind is always contemplating scenarios and when faced with adversity your training and experience allow you to mitigate it as a task rather than a crisis. Those individuals in your life will notice this and ask how you do what you do.
Peace in the midst of chaos doesn’t come from training alone. Training confirms and allows you to have muscle memory to respond almost without thought.
Where does your inner peace come from?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Might I suggest that you look deep inside your heart and ask the question: “Who gave me this inner longing to serve as a firefighter?” Reflect on this until our next meeting.
You are worth far more than you could ever imagine to God.
Part 2 of 3
Part 1 link: http://firefightertoolbox.com/survive-fire-service-takes-training-part-1/
Part 3 link: http://firefightertoolbox.com/survive-fire-service-confirming-calling-part-3/