“Inside the Circle”
Matthew and Jordan Hovind are cousins. They live next door to each other and just two doors down from Grandpa. One day they were helping Grandpa rake the freshly cut grass. The green foliage smelled s-o-o-o-o-o good! Both Matthew and Jordan were very hard workers!
Matthew picked up a handful of the grass to smell it and said, “Hey, Grandpa? Does grass burn?”
“Well now, THAT is a great question and I think we need to take a little trip to find the answer,” said Grandpa as he scratched his chin. “How about let’s finish raking up this pile and then take a trip with the Magic Globe? Would you like that?”
The boys jumped up and down excitedly and said, “We would love it!”
“All right,” laughed Grandpa, “you boys wash off the rakes and put them away while I call your moms to be sure it is OK.” After getting permission from the moms, Grandpa, Jordan, and Matthew all walked in the Science Center to the Magic Globe. Grandpa handed the tiny key to Jordan. He knew just what to do. He put the key in at the South Pole while Grandpa set the dial on top to take them back about two hundred years. Jordan turned the key and the globe began to hummm quietly.
“Where are we going, Grandpa?” asked Matthew.
“We are going to find the answer to your question, Grandson. Green grass doesn’t burn very well, but once it gets dry, it can burn like crazy! I’m going to show you one of the biggest fires in the world and it was mostly just grass that was burning in the fire. Do you know where Kansas is?”
Matthew scrunched up his nose as he looked at the globe. “I think it is a state in the middle of our country, America, isn’t it?”
“Very good!” smiled Grandpa. “You must be a Hovind. You are s-o-o-o-o-o smart!”
“I sure am a Hovind,” said Matthew as he looked at all the states in the middle of America until he found Kansas. “I see it, Grandpa!”
“OK. Let’s hold hands tight while Matthew touches Kansas. We will see something you will n-e-e-e-e-e-v-e-r forget!”
Matthew touched Kansas and POOOOOF! Before they could even blink, they were standing in the middle of a prairie covered in grass as tall as Jordan! For miles and miles, there was just flat land covered in dry, brown grass as far as they could see.”
“Wow! This place is HUGE!” said Jordan. “Where are the people? Where are the trees? Where are the houses? I don’t see anything but tall grass! Does anybody live out here, Grandpa?”
“Not yet.” said Grandpa. “We went back about two hundred years in history. People will come later and build cities and plow the land for crops, but for now, only a few Indians come here to chase the millions of buffalo that come through here to eat this grass. It’s hot summer now and the grass is all dry and brown. The buffalo have all traveled west to nearer the mountains where the grass is still green.”
As they watched the sky, Matthew saw some clouds way over on the horizon. (Oh, the horizon is the place where it looks like the sky touches the ground.) “Look Grandpa! It looks like a thunderstorm is coming.”
“It sure does, Matthew,” said Grandpa as he reached in his pocket for some matches. “Let me know if you see any lightning flashes.”
As the storm blew closer, lightning flashed down to the ground, its sparks setting the tall grass on fire. In just a few minutes, the fire was spreading—FAST! The dry grass seemed like it was almost exploding as the fire got closer. The flames were burning over 100 feet high! As the fire got closer, the wind started blowing s-o-o-o-o-o-o hard that it was pulling things into the fire! From their viewpoint in the middle of the prairie, it looked like the w-h-o-o-o-o-l-e world was burning!
“Grandpa!” yelled Jordan, “We better run! That fire is coming right at us!”
“It’s OK boys. We could never outrun that fire even if we had a car. We have to do something else to protect ourselves from this fire. Just stay close to me and watch,” said Grandpa as he struck a match and threw it down by their feet.
“Grandpa!” yelled Matthew. “What are you doing? There is already a huge fire coming at us and now you are starting another fire! Are you sure you know what you are doing? I’m scared!”
The boys were looking pretty worried as the h-u-u-u-u-u-g-e prairie fire raced toward them. The little fire Grandpa had started by their feet was also spreading in the dry grass. Pretty soon, it burned a circle and Grandpa said, “OK boys! Jump over the fire into the burned circle.”
They all jumped inside the circle and watched the fire burn the grass Making the burned circle around them bigger and bigger. The giant prairie fire was racing very close to them now. It was the biggest fire they had ever seen! It was so loud and the wind was blowing so hard that they had to yell just to hear each other above the fierce noise of the raging fire. The burned area where they stood was still warm from the recently burned grass, but it wasn’t nearly as hot as the fire itself.
“OK boys,” yelled Grandpa so they could hear him, “Stay close to me and get down low to the ground. We about to see something totally a-m-a-a-a-a-a-z-i-n-g!”
They obeyed right away and squatted down close to Grandpa. The giant flames got closer and closer! Grandpa wrapped his long arms tightly around the boys so the wind would not pull them into the fire. They could feel the heat as they desperately held on to Grandpa’s body.
Just then, the big prairie fire reached the edge of the circle Grandpa and the boys had burned. As it came to the charred, burnt area, the giant fire began to go around them! They were astonished to see the fire race right past them on both sides as it continued engulfing the prairie. Finally, the wind slowed down and they stood up. Everywhere around them the grass was GONE! There was just black smoking ground everywhere. The boys looked down at their soot covered skin and clothing.
“Wow! What happened, Grandpa?” asked both boys at once.
“Well,” said Grandpa, “We just saved our lives by being in a place where the grass was already burned. It can’t burn twice. I heard the old timers who came across this prairie learned that trick from the Indians. You can’t outrun a fire like that! You m-u-u-u-u-u-s-t get in spot that is already burned and let the fire pass over you.”
“Wow!” said Jordan, “THAT was unbelievable! I thought we were going to get burned up for sure! That fire was GINORMOUS! Who would ever think that grass could burn that fast?!”
”And that it could get so hot!” exclaimed Matthew. “I guess that answered my question, didn’t it, Grandpa?” Grass burns GOOD if it is dry!”
“It also teaches us a great lesson, boys. Hold my hand. It’s time to go back to the Science Center.” Suddenly. . . POOOOF! They were standing by the humming globe. Jordan turned it off and gave Grandpa the key.
“The lesson is pretty simple but v-e-e-e-e-e-r-y important!” said Grandpa as he put the key in his pocket. “That fire is like the judgment of God. It’s coming fast and we cannot escape. The only way not to get burned, is to be in a place where it has already burned. Jesus already died on the cross to forgive our sins so if we put ourselves “in Christ” by asking
Him to save us, it is just like us being inside the burned circle. It may be loud and hot and scary at times, but we are safe from the fire. If we are in Christ, we are safe from God’s judgment.”
“I asked Jesus to save me,” said Matthew. “I’m glad He already took my punishment on the cross.”
“Jesus died so that anyone can be saved,” said Grandpa. “We need to tell everyone else to hurry and get saved before it is t-o-o-o-o-o late. Let’s go see if Granny Jo has supper ready boys. Maybe we can help her set the table or carry stuff for her.”
S-o-o-o-o-o, like hungry boys, they did!