A customer-service representative for a car rental company took a call from a driver who needed a tow. He was stranded on a busy highway, but didn't know the make of the car he was driving. The company rep asked for a more detailed description, beyond "it’s a nice, white four-door."
After a long pause, the driver replied, "My car is the one on fire."
That should do it! I would think that would make a car easily recognizable. You would notice that one, wouldn’t you?
But what if somehow the same car sat burning in the same spot by the highway everyday? Would you eventually not notice it anymore? I’m guessing that you wouldn’t. I know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t.
After all, the sun is basically on fire, but we see it everyday and, consequently, don’t give it much thought unless a sunrise or sunset is unusually spectacular. The stars, too, are ablaze. But when did you last notice them?
More important than noticing the sun and stars is whether we are aware of the One who created them. The Psalmist said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2). Creation is reminding us of the Creator. Do we notice?
God, through his apostle Peter, tells us that we must add godliness to our lives (2 Peter 1:6). Literally, the word Peter used means “good fear” or “good reverence.” It’s being afraid in a good sense - like a child awestruck by a sparkler in his hand. He knows it’s burning and might be dangerous, but he is mesmerized by its beauty and amazed that he can hold such a marvel. It is that attitude that God calls us to add to our lives.
“Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28) yet we are invited to come close. He desires that “men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). Beyond close, a Christian’s “body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Notice the fire! He is blazing in plain view if we’ll but see. Respect his power. Warm yourself by his flame. Live by his light. That’s godliness.