Deadly Fumes

By Michael Temple

Photo by Dreamstime

“Mike, what’s that noise?” It was early morning, and I probably would’ve slept right through the loud beeping sound that was coming from our living room if it wasn’t for my wife’s inquiry. My head felt foggy as I arose and jammed my feet into my slippers. I didn’t want to get up, but the beeping persisted.
 
Our family recently had a wood pellet stove installed in our home in an attempt to save money on our fuel bill. The heat generated from this stove has legitimately helped with the temperature of our home, and we have already seen a significant drop in our fuel costs. I’ve been challenged, however, with learning all the proper ways to maintain this stove at optimal performance. According to the manual (that I recently re-read), I am supposed to clean the ashes out from this stove on a daily basis. It hadn’t been done in about five days, if I am remembering correctly.
 
Because the ashes had built up in the fire-pot, the fuel was no longer able to ignite into flame when it was deposited into the burning area. This stove was literally smoldering itself into a sooty, non-burning, noxious mess…and the beeping that we had heard was from our carbon monoxide alarm. I opened the windows of our home in the wee hours of the morning (during winter weather), and spent the next hour doing what I should have done days before. 
 
I shudder when I think about what could have happened to my family if we hadn’t installed a carbon monoxide alarm in our living room. That tiny white battery-operated box had detected something that was potentially fatal while we peacefully slept, oblivious to the dangers that surrounded us. 
 
I couldn’t help but think about all the spiritually-challenging occurrences that we encounter in our daily schedules...undetected and potentially deadly situations that can kill the sacred atmosphere that we truly desire. Staying connected is like emptying the ashes of our lives. A relationship with the Almighty helps our spiritual fires to burn clean and brightly.