Once you’ve defined the zone, it’s time to haul out the pruners or maybe even the chainsaw. Whatever it takes to clear out the internal and external clutter that distracts us, crowds our space, and creates unnecessary risk in our lives. Fire that begins in overgrowth is slow moving and not very hot. While brush in and of itself is not likely to start a catastrophic fire right away, it certainly adds powerful fuel to nearby trees if trouble breaks out later on. Tall trees represent the most dangerous threat to defensible space. Fire can race across terrain with lethal speed by leaping from tree-top to tree-top. Trees burst into lames with a heat so fierce it incinerates the tree almost instantly. The force and speed of the flames can throw embers great distances and touch off spot fires on the ground. These fires gain power, create their own wind, and can become a life threatening inferno destroying everything in their path.
In modern life, TV time, the internet, social media, jangling cell phones, hobbies, sports, and a diversity of other activities can overgrow our time and crowd out the opportunity to work towards our destiny. They can make easy marks for clearing out or at least thinning. All it may require is doing each activity one night a week instead of two, to free up a significant amount of time. Perhaps you can DVR your favorite shows to watch later in the week when it won’t interfere with whatever prime time you need to work on your destiny. Perhaps you can use your lunch hours at work to run errands, return phone calls, and take care of other logistical needs, so your after work hours are free. Make your choices mindfully however, because you don’t want to strip away all of the unique-to-you activities that make your life meaningful, or you’ll just end up resenting your destiny and quitting on it anyway. You need to be happy enough in real time to maintain your stamina and your sanity. Hang on to those activities that mean the most to you, and make your choices so you can live in balance, not deprivation. The three things that can slip away from us the fastest as adults are rest, play, and peace. If we are to facilitate healthy terrain within our defensible space, it is essential to preserve those things that spiritually sustain us and will give us the strength for pursuing our destiny. It is the only thing that will keep the overgrowth from creeping back. You’ll want to clear away the trees and brush that present an obvious threat, but there’s no need to pluck up every blade of grass from the lawn.
Until next time, I’ll be praying for you to pick up those pruning shears and get to it!