TENDING YOUR FIREBy Joseph J. Mazzella

When I was a boy, every summer I spent a wonderful week at 4-H camp. It was always so much fun. Delicious meals were served in the dining hall three times a day. There were fun classes to go to in the morning and sports and swimming in the afternoon. There was a friendly competition between the four tribes for the spirit stick all through the week. And there were long nights spent lying awake, laughing, and talking with our friends. We seemed to sleep only a few hours a night but we were enjoying ourselves too much to be tired.At the end of the week, we all gathered together at the final council circle. The campfire in the center was carefully tended until it blazed brightly, lit up the circle and flickered off our happy faces. Songs, cheers, skits, challenges, and laughter would fill the air as the night went on. Later the awards for the week were given out. Everyone got something to take home and cherish as well as a tiny candle to hold.At the very end of the night, the person who was awarded the spirit of the camp would take his candle and light it by the last embers of the dying fire. Then he lit the candles held by the people around him, who would in turn light candles held by others until every one of us held a little light in his hands. As the camp ended, we all walked out into the night with our own little fires beating back the darkness.Remembering those nights makes me wonder what this world would be like if each of us tended our own fire. How great would it be if we all fed the fire of goodness within us? How beautiful would it be if we all let our love burn bright? How wonderful would it be if we all shared our light to help others beat back the darkness?God gave each of us a fire of love in our souls. It is up to us to tend it, turn it into a brilliant blaze for all to see, and share its light with the world.

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