Decades ago one of the songs that hit the charts as a best seller contained these lyrics: “Don’t let the smoke get in your eyes, don’t let the moon break your heart….” Written by Winston L. Moore (stage name, Slim Willet) in 1952 and recorded by several artists, the most popular version was performed by the famous crooner, Perry Como.
The theme of the song wasn’t anything unusual, a lover concerned that his woman might be unfaithful. It was the events of this past couple of weeks that brought the piece to mind: smoke from fires that have devastated thousands of hectares of forest and destroyed the homes, properties and livelihoods of multiplied thousands of people, smoke that will be permanently embedded in the memories of millions of people, all smoke billowing from uncontrolled fires.
The sad reality is something as essential to life as fire, if out of control, can become a force of destruction. Over the centuries we’ve harnessed fire to cook our food, to heat our homes and to bring light into darkness. In fact, the discovery of fire is lauded as a major step forward in the progress of mankind.
Like the all-too-common theme of Willet’s song, it’s often the good or the legitimate pleasures of life that fail to come into line with common sense, let alone God’s Word, that too often get us into trouble. The enjoyment of good food, without the constraints of wise eating habits, leads to all sorts of health issues or, the lack of discipline in our daily habits can lead to broken relationships. When God’s word cautions us use wisdom, it’s not the result of vindictiveness on His part but evidence of His genuine love for us.
“And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him.” (1 Samuel 18:14)