September 9, 2017
Yesterday was our first day on the line. Many of the soldiers had a chance to put out a few trees on fire, help fell a few trees and hike along steep slopes cutting line. Every morning before these missions, team leaders will meet with their division chiefs to receive an in-brief. Hundreds of Fire fighters and hand crews received their instructions. A meeting that easily could taken hour, is organized, smooth and brief (16 minutes). It reminds me of the importance of purpose behind our speech. How often do our words help others around us get where we want to go? It reminds me of the Proverb (15:4),
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
I cant think of a more appropriate analogy, surrounded by dying trees that will crush you (literally). Our words can literally feel like a dying tree falling on others. On the other side, the philosopher here says our tongues can also be a tree of life. Unlike many of the burnt and dying trees we see out there, there are lives that need to be protected. Do your words bring life? Would your crew say that you are a tree of life or a widow-maker? Are they used to invest in others lives, encourage them and understand where they are coming from or are you crushing spirits? When you’re shouting “widow maker”, “tree” or just hanging in the tents today, take a second and think about your words. Lets try and speak like the trees we are protecting, trees of life for others.