Beauty For Ashes

With the vast devastation of the recent Brian Head fire, it’s not difficult to doubt that beauty will ever return from the ashes of such destruction. The only living things remaining seem to be the memories made within those mountains now charred black from the fiery embers embrace.

Hundreds of brave men and women gave so much to not only quench the fire, but to quell its destructive path. Preventable? Perhaps. Many would say inevitable due to the poor and deteriorating conditions of the mountains over the years. But the time has now come for healing, not blaming.

Rest assured, healing, restoring and rebuilding will come to each whose lives were affected by the ashes. The beauty and majesty of the mountains will return. It will take time, but even now, seeds of new life are already stirring within the soil ready to bring forth far-reaching renewal.

The major catalysts for the catastrophe were the dead trees killed over time by tiny beetles. Just like life, it’s usually the little things; the little bad habits, the little ruts in our lives, that when we’re unwilling to take care of them, can lead to bigger problems. We may not think a dead tree, or bad habit here and there in our lives will make a difference, but over time our forests will decay and die. One lightning strike, or stray spark can start a fire that will consume our happiness and make us feel like our lives cannot be repaired or are not worth living. But they can and they are! There are still seeds of hope and happiness in the soil of our souls. Clear away the ashes and dead trees to let them grow!

I know we all must face adversity in our lives and we all fall into ruts now and then, but what happens when we must endure those personal forest fires? What happens when those emotional flames wipe out the forests of our hopes, dreams, peace and prosperity—leaving nothing but the ashes of regret and sorrow in their wake?

We can spend our time in anger and discussions of discord, blame and what if. But those are just the dead ashes. If we want to begin healing our lives and re-growing our hopes, peace, faith, or whatever was lost in the fires, we have to let go of the ashes to receive the beauty. Healing must come from within the soil of our souls and hearts. New seeds cannot grow if we keep piling on ashes and not putting out—and then preventing—the fires that caused the destruction in the first place.

Yes, the fires take time to put out. There may be friendships and dreams lost in the blaze, but we’ve got to let the ashes go. Be patient during the clean-up and regrowth process. Just like new growth with reclaim the charred and scarred mountains of Southern Utah, we will have beauty for our ashes.

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