” The Keeper of the Flame”

Of all the jobs I have had, one of the most exciting was the “Keeper of the Flame.” My daughter was a majorette. Part of her routine while performing with the school band was twirling a “Fire” baton. As her assistant, my job was to dip the ends of the special baton in lamp oil, then light it before she twirled with it. I had to shake it to tone down the flame before she used it. A family friend nick named me “The Keeper of the Flame” after observing me in action.
One night a a football game, I was preparing the baton and got the baton flame too close to the dry grass on the side line and accidentally started a small fire! I immediately started stoping out the grass fire with my feet while still holding the fire baton in my hand…I looked like a one man pyrotechnic- strobe light- rock and roll show! After the half time band performance was over I went to the concession stand to get a Diet Coke …There, I was approached by the Fire Department personnel at the game about becoming their “Mascot” ! When I returned to my seat in the stands I received a rousing ovation by the fans…and lots of laughter!
I have often thought how difficult it is to keep the “Flame of Hope & Confidence” in our lives going with so many things that can diminish or extinguish. It may come in the form of negative thinking, criticism, stress and burnout can also hurt it. Here are some things I have found that help:
Be honest and realistic in your expectations. Some times we are “our own worst enemy” by setting such high and unrealsitic goals for ourselves that we actually set ourselves up for failure. Expectations and goals are appropiate when they are achievable and realistic. Short term goals that are attainable can actually build our confidence.
Realize God is working in your life. ” Being confident of this, that He that began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6. Our best source of hope and confidence is found in our personal relationship with God.
Do what you can with what you have each day. Abraham Lincoln had a very timely quote about this…” Whatever you are, be a good one.” Sometimes we get overwelmed and clutter our thinking by thinking about all the long range complications in the future to the point of losing sight of what we can do today. It is good to stay focused on what we can do today.

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