A poker is one of those long metal (usually iron) rods which a person uses to poke at coals and logs in a fireplace. It enables its user to stand safely away from the heat of the flames, as the hooked end catches hold of an errant log--which is not burning as expected. A poker, put simply, pokes. It pokes hot coals and nearly charred logs to get the fire going, should it try to die down. It changes the position of logs in order to get a fire blazing. Are you a poker?
A prodder can be a shepherd's staff, an elephant trainer's stick, or even a person. A prodder tries to urge another to move in a specific direction for a specific purpose--sheep which are dumb as dumb can be, are prodded. A prodder can guide or provoke. It can nudge or needle--punch or punish. Are you a prodder?
Spurs are those pointed objects a cowboy wears on the heel of his boots. They act to poke a horse in its side, to prod it to move in a certain way with measured urgency. Do you spur others on?
In the world of blogging and beyond, we find pokers, prodders, and sets of spurs. A question came to me as I have seen my words used to poke and prod others in the last few days. We need pokers, prodders, and spurs. We need folks willing to approach the flames and readjust the burning logs. Some fires need to die out--others need stoking with a poke here, and a breath of fresh air now and then. We need someone to poke the coals and shuffle them about so the best of their heat is used. We need folks to spur one another to action. To move forward. To run the race as courageously, as boldly, as honorably as possible.
The discerning mind, the yielded spirit, and open heart have the wisdom to see the difference between a prodder of unity and a provoker of divisiveness and animosity. May you find yourself among the discerning, the yielded, and the open. May I be counted among those who enrich, create comfort, instill warmth--where others may separate, and inflame to destroy or quench the Spirit of God. Lord knows I fail so often to tend the fires He calls me to light. It's not from lack of desire--some things need to burn--and burn like a bonfire. Other things need to be kept under control--a little shifting here, a bit of prodding there. When one sees a fire in need of another log, they must be very mindful of offering to add the wood. It could very well come slamming down on a foot you've left too close to the fire. selahV