When we were travelling through Norway an amazing recurrent theme started to appear: fire. Many towns, being built of wood, had serious town-wide fires in their history. Trondheim had 9 between 1598 and 1842. Bergen had a few and Alesund was totally destroyed in 1904.
Albert Einstein is supposed to have said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. May be we are all a bit insane. A bit of the Norwegian town builder resides in each one of us. There are so many unproductive habits and sins in our lives that we don’t deal with. We walk old paths hoping to get to a different destination and we are surprised when nothing has changed.
After the Great Fire of London in 1666, building regulations were changed: houses had to be faced with bricks and roads were widened. The Government of the day was keen that this fire would not happen again. Too often we are not that wise.
We need to take similar action. We need to change our ways. In Acts 2 we are reminded by Peter that the Holy Spirit enables us to repent and believe. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” We don’t have to change our habits in our own futile strength. It is a journey that God goes on with us. Once we have come to Him in faith, His Holy Spirit remains to give us power over foolishness and sin.
What “fires” repeat themselves in your life? Is there a wiser material to use in the future?