When I was teenager growing up in Randolph Mn, our family home was heated by duel fuel. Our furnace had a wood box connected to it so that we could burn wood or fuel oil. In order to supply the wood box, I spent a lot of time in my late teens with a chain saw and wood splitting maul. Dad was always on the lookout for trees fallen around the area and was quick to volunteer my services for removal. I would get dropped off with the saw a small can of gas and bar oil, and away I’d go.
The part I really liked about the work of cutting and splitting wood was burning it. In the morning I would open up the wood box remove the ashes and set new wood for the daily burn. Often times the coals from the night before were all that was required if the draft to the chimney was set right and the fire door left open just a crack. Sometimes it had to be started from scratch; under the logs we’d stuff newspaper and light it, or make kindling and light it. Lighting a fire from kindling is a very intimate relationship. It requires deep breaths and just the right amount of air to make the kindling catch. Once the fire caught and began to heat the house, there was a sense of wellbeing every morning in the long winters.
But it was nice to have dual fuel, because sometimes the wood pile got a little low. And sometimes the fire went out early in the morning hours and the fuel oil furnace would kick in, and sometimes in the evening the fire setting wouldn’t catch and we wouldn’t find out until morning. How nice it is to have a backup system in place.
Wood and oil provided the dual fuel to keep the home fires burning when I was a boy, and Word and Sacrament are my dual fuel in my walk with God today. The Word either convicts or encourages, but the Sacrament allows draws me intimately to the creator of my next breath.
Live in the joy of a God who cares about you and loves you!