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Hats off to our volunteer firemen

November 12, 2007

Pastor Marc Grindle, Dassel Church of Christ

Recently, I stood and witnessed the hay barn on the Ahlgren farm burn to the ground. It truly was a tragic thing to see, especially for anyone who has ever experienced a barn or home fire themselves.

I also witnessed dozens of firemen, from three different departments, all doing their best to, first, assure the safety of everyone, and also to control the fire. As far as I know, all of these men and women are volunteers.

While talking to one of the family members, he asked me how long I thought the firemen would stay. I said they would not leave until things were well under control and it could be assured the fire was safe.

He said he just wished it would all burn down so everyone could go home. They have families and jobs, he said.

I live right down the alley from the Dassel Fire Department, and I can say that few days go by in which I do not see these volunteers leave their work and families to respond to some form of emergency.

And so, my question for you is, “Have you taken the time to express your appreciation to these people that sacrifice so much for our safety?”

Chances are, if you are like me, you have not done so, unless you, yourself, have experienced such a tragedy.

Now, some of you may be wondering why I would choose to write about this in a pastor’s column. I admit, I even had to stop and ask myself that question.

The answer: I feel compelled by God to do so. I feel compelled to make it known how these men and women serve and sacrifice. I feel compelled to open our eyes to those around us that serve unselfishly.

But I also write to remind you that perhaps your view of God is somewhat the same. Sometimes, we just expect God to serve us . . . after all, He is God. Maybe the only time you stop and thank God is after you experience tragedy and see God’s influence firsthand.

The truth is, every day, men and women risk their lives for our safety, whether it be firemen, policemen, or military men . . . and most of them get little thanks or praise.

And every day, God is looking over us, and unfortunately, He, too, often gets little praise.

The Bible instructs us in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – or kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 

I want to challenge you to spend some time this week praying for our volunteer firemen, local police, our school board and administration, as well as our politicians. You may not agree with everything they do – which is all the more reason to pray for God’s hand of guidance.