Throw Back Series 3 – Stack of Pulp

This is the third Throw Back Series post entitled Stack of Pulp. I was with some friends at a retreat in November, 2008. The retreat had paid “extra” to have a bon-fire. So naturally, there was quite a few people waiting to get warm. Enjoy and may you be encouraged.

We were waiting for this bonfire to begin to blaze.  These paid “fire-makers” were busy dousing logs with diesel fuel.  They stacked these logs five feet high in this nice, neat stack of chopped lumber.  Did I mention they were logs?

As the four guys doused the logs, they lit the logs.  The logs began to catch flame from the diesel fuel that was saturating the cells of this stack of pulp.  This stack of pulp was ignited and was blazing shades of red and orange!  WOOHOO!!  The group of over 100 people who had come to the beach to enjoy this monstrosity of a bonfire began to cheer over this stack of pulp.  We were ready to consume the heat of this blaze with fervor and excitement as we huddled under blankets to shield ourselves from the wind fronts that were racing in off of the lake’s waters.


Yes, the red and orange hues from the flame began to die down and the stack of pulp reigned victorious with the help of howling winds from the lake’s beach front.

Try more fuel.  Of course.  That would work.  Until the strong winds of the lake’s beach front would decimate the intensity of the fire and there would stand a stack of pulp…logs.

They quit.  They QUIT!!  THEY LEFT!!!  Where did the paid “fire-makers” go?  I don’t know.  All I know is that they quit.  No, for real…they did.

Guess what happened to the crowd of over 100 people ready to consume the flames from the stack of pulp…most of them left too.

A new mission began.  Not one of consumption, but one of production.  Other men, “fire-builders” if you will, began the journey.

Leaves, twigs, branches, bark…now that’s the beginning.

Oxygen, time, labor…that’s the next step.

Sticks, thicker sticks and even thicker sticks…the next step.

Then came the logs…the next step.

The final step…


The fire that was built was NEVER a stack of pulp.  It was an ever changing mixture.  Sometimes it was piled, sometimes it was spread.  Sometimes it was high, sometimes it was wide.  All of these changes came from the maintenance of the fire-building process.

As I looked a the flames, I was standing in the “exhaust” of the fire…  I’ll talk about what all of this means in my next post tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

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