Electricity and Smoke Don’t Go Together!

A trail of smoke streaming from an electrical outlet isn’t something you ever want to encounter. It grabbed my attention as immediately as the distinct smell of burning rubber when I stepped into our outdoor shed yesterday. There was no time to panic. Instead, my response was pure instinct. I bolted through the house, into the garage, rounded the corner to the circuit panel to cut the power off at the fuse box. Just as quickly I returned to the shed, praying it wouldn’t be in flames. It wasn’t and I was quite relieved to find the smoke had subsided.

Deciding I should pull out the plug that had just been smoking, I tugged on the cord. Most of it came out of the socket, leaving a piece of it behind in the outlet. It was not at all how I planned to start the day!

Wow, that was close.

My mind briefly entertained a series of ‘what-ifs.’ What if I hadn’t gone back into the shed? What if cutting the power didn’t stop it?

Then it dawn on me, there’s much wisdom tucked into what had just happened.

What we give power to, has the ability to burn.

Good or bad, the thoughts, influences, and direction we give power to in our lives has the ability to catch fire. We can fuel our dreams, goals, passion and faith and gladly fan the flames. The oxygen we give those, through our attention time and energy pays great dividends. Likewise, we can fan the flames of discontentment or despair. We can take the smallest spark and allow it to turn into a raging forest fire that threatens to consume us. Be aware of what you give time, energy, or power to smolder or burn in your mind and heart.

What do we allow to burn?

Some situations we encounter steal our focus. We can’t seem to put them down. They entice us to mull, rehash, and even obsess allowing a spark that could have been denied oxygen to be fanned into a flame. Common risk areas include:

  • Peoples’ opinions.
  • Our insecurities.
  • The past.
  • Fear.
  • Doubt.
  • Areas we need to improve.

If you don’t want fire, cut the power.

With smoke streaming from the outlet, I had to act fast. I knew cutting off the power at the fuse box was my best hope in containing the situation. My response was swift and focused – from the shed, through the house, to the garage, and back in moments. With the power cut, the smoke ceased and crisis was averted. We need to respond with the same intentionality in our lives. When something begins to simmer on the inside, or a distraction begins to consume our progress, do we hesitate? If we don’t want fire, we need to cut the power. Be aware of what you are giving authority to speak into your life.

Ignored fire is still fire.

Make no mistake about it, fire will burn even if we ignore it. Had I left the shed in denial, pretending there wasn’t an issue, it would have only been a matter of time before the smoke turned to a consuming fire. We can’t simply spray Febreze in our lives to mask the smell that something is wrong. Nor can we simply distract and call attention to other areas of our lives pretending there is no smoke where there is. Don’t allow denial to leave smoldering issues to burn without your attention. Small fires are easier to extinguish. Choose to put out small fires rather than waiting to deal with the consequences of situations that have gotten more out of control.

Action is required.

Good intentions are absolutely necessary BUT action is required to change what is “burning” in your life. Actions not intentions leads to change. I had no time to spare getting to the fuse box. Are there places in life that you’re letting go by without action where it’s essential to take a step? Delayed response can cause the problem to grow or the situation to shift. What do you need to repair, replace, remove, or restore? Take action!

Fan the flames of “good” fire:

Flickering flames on a cold winter night warms the spirit. And, on a beautiful summer’s night there’s nothing quite like a fire toasting a marshmallow for a gooey s’more. Fan the flames of “good” fires,

  • Good habits.
  • Passion
  • Goals
  • Hopes
  • Dreams
  • Faith

What’s smoldering in your life right now? Are you enjoying good fires? Do you have ones that require action? You know what they say, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Pay attention to warning signs that something is off track. I’d love to hear from you!

The melted cord with the singed outlet from my shed.

As for my shed, thankfully the damage was contained to the cord and the outlet. Both have been replaced and are safe once again. I also bought a few new fire extinguishers for good measure.

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