Sometimes it seems a lifetime ago that I lived in my little town in the mountains. I miss small-town life; the being known. I miss having the boundaries established and purposes to fulfill. My little mountain town came close to burning down last month. The houses across the street from my childhood home all burned, and the beautiful vista where I used to sit with Jesus and watch storms come in, is a burned-over moonscape now. It’s like a final good-bye to the places I hung out as a child. The places where I learned to love Him. The first places He whispered to me.
When we lived there, we kept a fire evacuation list taped inside the pantry door. What do you grab when smoke fills the air and the sheriff knocks on your door? That is probably a good exercise for all of us. And it begs the question: what can I bring when I evacuate earth? What am I storing up, investing in, that I can bring with me to Heaven? Knowledge of God, words of encouragement I have given, the ways I have loved, prayers I have prayed for others, sacrifices that humility requires – these are a few. Most aren’t visible. I live a life hid with Jesus that no one else sees. But that life is my evacuation preparation, and I’m ready to leave when He calls me.