A few years ago while on vacation my family was sound asleep on the 16th floor of a hotel. All of a sudden we were awoken by a shrill deafening sound of a fire alarm. Immediately, my wife grabbed the baby and the keys to the van. I jumped up and proceeded to grab ahold of the two older children (ages 5 and 3) and started making our way towards the stairwell. Within a few minutes, the kids were fast asleep in their car seats while my wife and I watched the fire trucks arrive. As the fire fighters pulled out their gear, we reflected on how well we worked together during the moment of crisis.
Since that night, our family has continued to plan an evacuation plan in case of an emergency. Whether it is on the ferry to Vancouver Island, or in a crowded auditorium, we will quickly assess the situation and discuss a brief exit strategy. Do you have an emergency plan?
Last month, our evacuation plan was put to the test again. We were sleeping in a cabin at a Christian camp in Hope, British Columbia. Around 11:30 on Friday night, I overheard someone talking outside of my cabin, “There is a fire.” Immediately, my wife and I sprung into action. Shoes. Jacket. Keys. Wallet. That was it. We woke up the children and ran to the van. As I looked into the dark sky, I could see a fire raging. The flames were over hundred feet in the air, consuming the night sky with bright reds, oranges and pale blues. My family raced towards the camp exit while I stayed behind to help evacuate the camp.
Within a few short minutes, the campground was popping with concerned campers now awake. Some people were hysterical. They were panicking and screaming. Others were jumping into their cars and trying to flee. What surprised me the most was how slow some people were to evacuate. As I was clearing out one section of the camp I observed a mother packing everything from the cabin and putting things meticulously into her van, as if she was packing for a family trip to the beach. The children stood in the middle of the living room with blurry eyes, while their mom packed up their earthly possessions. I ran into their cabin and shouted, “You need to get out of here! Get in your car and take your kids to safety.” She didn’t listen to me. She continued to pack.
If it wasn’t for the incredible volunteer fire team who quickly took control of the fire, the outcome could have been a disaster. Upon reflecting on that terrifying evening, I have begun to wonder how prepared Christians are in the face of spiritual disaster. We have been warned that the devil is like a lurking lion, waiting for pounce (1 Peter 5:8). Do you believe that? If you know that you are under spiritual warfare (a spiritual fire) what measures are you taking to be prepared for when disaster hits? How quick will you act when the fire hits you? 2 Timothy 4:2 remind us to be ready in season and out of season. Are you prepared for the next fire in your life?
Kumar Dixit is WGTS 91.9's Chaplain, and author of "Branded Faith," available on Amazon.com