The Gift of Fire


How far would you go for passion?

(another post to Randy Elrod’s Watercooler Wednesdays)

The picture is called the “Torture of Prometheus,” by Jean-Louis-Cesar-Lair. It represents the punishment inflicted on the Titan Prometheus, by Zeus, for bringing fire down from heaven to man.

Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus were given the responsibility of making man along with all the animals necessary for man’s preservation. The problem was Epimetheus did his job too well – giving the animals speed, strength, wing, claw – and there was nothing left for man. Prometheus did not despair, but with Minerva’s help went into heaven and lit a torch at the chariot of the sun, and brought it back for man. The fire came down, and it gave man his place above the animals (Bulfinch’s Mythology). As punishment for bringing to man what belonged to the gods, Prometheus was chained to a rock, and each day a vulture landed on his stomach and ate his liver. It grew back overnight, and the next day the vulture returned and ate the liver again. And again. And again. 

What is it about fire that made Prometheus willing to suffer the wrath of Zeus? Why did he risk so much to give this gift to man?

Fire brings warmth. 

Before electricity there were two ways man had to stay warm: put on more clothes, put on more logs. Fire gave him control over his environment. Without it, he would die in the cold. 

Fire gives light.

Picture the world before electricity – a man wanders into the middle of a dense Washington forest, the kind of forest with trees 20,30, 60 feet tall. It’s the middle of the night, and one way or another he must find his way to the other side of the woods. He gropes forward, stumbling from one tree to the next, hours on end, until the sun’s early light reveals he has gone only a few hundred feet..

Now picture this same man entering the forest with a blazing torch. He sees the path, clearly marked before him. He reaches the other side with time to spare. 

What does this have to do with passion? 

We associate passion with fire – the greater the passion, the more it burns.

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.”  D.H. Lawrence

Blaze with the fire that is never extinguished.” Luisa Sigea

Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit.” Mary Lou Retton

Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.” Henri Frederic Amiel 

Without passion, we are cold.

Without passion, we are shades, just ghosts of men trapped in a dark world.

Passion is a gift given to men from heaven, though I would argue not from gods but from God. Mankind has passion because God breathed His Spirit into us when he made our first father and first mother, Adam and Eve. His Spirit is what separated us from everything else in the world – there is no animal that has God’s Spirit, and there is no other created being that has passion like we do. And instead of a created being going into heaven to steal what was hidden, our Creator God sent His Son to give us what was hidden – relationship with Himself.

How far would you go for passion? I believe He went further.

Jesus on Cross

Published in: on May 28, 2008 at 4:43 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful post, well done. Thank you.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. Powerful blog post Scott. Convicting. Thanks.

  3. Really great post, Scott! I’ve enjoyed reading it several times now. And thanks for the reminder; I don’t ever want to live my life without passion!

  4. I’ve often confused “feeling strongly but superficially” with true, deep-seated passion in the past. So I’m not sure how far I would go. I think, as I begin school this fall, I am about to find out though.

    Great post.

  5. “he sees the path, marked clearly before him” really resonated with me. Christ had that passion – He saw the path clearly marked before Him – we can have a similar passion – and God’s word will clearly illuminate our path. Beautiful post – nicely done!

  6. Well written. Thanks for the post…

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