Running on steam or running on fire

So here we are 2022. A new year has begun. How are you feeling about 2022?

Isn’t it interesting how we can have a whole new perspective on life when that clock ticks over from one year to the next. Why is that? Is it because we are believing the year ahead will be better than the year just gone, or do we think that now is the opportunity for a clean slate? Maybe you are just hopeful that you can put your trust in a new year.

Whatever the reason, we tend to look at a new year as a chance to see things better for our life, our situation, our family, our business, our ministry, or whatever you are hopeful for, so we begin with a ‘full steam ahead’ mindset. The last two years have been tough, probably the toughest the world has seen in recent times, however, even though none of us know exactly what the new year holds for us, a belief rises within us to have greater optimism and desire to dive into the new year.

The question is, where does that drive come from? Is it coming from steam or is it coming from fire?

Running on steam.

Speak to any gym owner and they will tell you that the greatest sign ups for gym membership is in that first week of January. Ask them how many continue, and they will all tell you that many drop off within the first few months. Why? Because they were going in ‘full steam ahead’ fueled with enthusiasm, determination and belief that this was their year to get fit. They get up before the sun rises, drive to the gym, work out for hours excited at what they are going to achieve in ‘no time at all,’ but as the days roll into weeks, and the weeks roll into months and their ‘Iron Man’ goal has not been achieved as quickly as expected, they begin to get disillusioned and disappointed in themselves and in the system. Then comes the excuses, ‘I will go tomorrow,’ This extra hamburger won’t hurt, after all, I go to the gym.’ Before you know it, they have ran out of steam and no more gym. They couldn’t keep up the expected momentum they had played out in their mind because they were running on steam.

Steam can have the greatest plan but without having the ‘why’ in front of you, why you are doing what you are doing at all times, and understanding that anything great comes with time and habit, it will remain steam, and steam always runs out.

Running on fire.

Fire seemingly starts the same way as steam, with enthusiasm, determination and belief that you are going to achieve your goal, but there is a vast difference between running on steam and running on fire. The difference is this; You are fully aware that it is impossible to do life, achieve goals and keep momentum going alone. You understand you will struggle and maybe even limp at times and the only way you will get over the finish line is knowing you cannot walk alone in the journey. Anyone who has achieved anything in life, has never achieved it to the fullest, alone.

What is a fire?

Although bush fires in general are devastating, there are benefits to what a fire can bring. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, ‘Fire removes low-growing underbrush, cleans the forest floor of debris, opens it up to sunlight, and nourishes the soil. Reducing this competition for nutrients allows established trees to grow stronger and healthier.’ 

For your fire to continue to burn beyond the first few days or weeks of January, you need to have your ‘why‘ in front of you at all times. For me, when I wrote my first book I knew I could not stay on fire to complete such a task if I didn’t have the conviction of why I was writing the book in the first place as well as my fire stokers around me. I knew me. Just being enthusiastic about the idea was not going to cut it. The ‘why’ takes you from running on steam, to running on fire because you realize what you are doing is not just about you, it is for the greater good. There is a bigger picture at stake.

For me, I knew the very first book ‘Just Say YES’ was for others to glean from through my personal journey, knowing that a simple girl like me can walk an extra ordinary life if I was fully surrendered to the ‘fire giver,’ the Holy Spirit and also willing to do the hard yards. When I received the first copy of my book in my hot little hands I was overwhelmed with excitement and achievement. I had done it! A feeling I will never forget.

Just as fire is hot, it spreads, it lights up a sky and continues to burn when kept stoked, this, my first book has done exactly that. It has stayed hot in people’s hands, it has spread globally (not like the famous people yet LOL) and has lit up people’s lives to unlock passions and purposes to move forward. That book took me four whole years to write. In the natural I would have given up, but thanks to my fan club, my fire stokers, and of course the Holy Spirit speaking to me as I wrote, I didn’t. There were bumps in the road, some major bumps, but the ‘why’ kept me on track. I have now written a second book and almost finished my ‘Twenty One Day Devotional’. That is what will happen when you run on fire, not on steam.

Let’s go back to the gym for a moment. If you are one of those gym people I just wrote about, don’t get discouraged. It just takes a shift in your thinking. Recognize that anything worth doing, at the right pace, and for the right reason, is worth the effort. Your health is vital. Being strong for the long haul is important. Two great reasons right there to get fit. What about being around for your family and those in your world. There’s another one. The ‘why’ will get you up in the morning and despite circumstances, the ‘why’ will trump any situation at hand.

Running on fire is running with your why. Why you are doing what you do and secondly who you are doing it for. Running on fire takes running with your fire stokers. Your encouragers who will cheer you on, pick you back up when you fall, and believe in you all the way.

2022 won’t be perfect but it can be wonderful when you discover your ‘why,’ and walk it out one day at a time.

Trust God in your journey.


Published by Deborah Hilton

I am passionate about seeing people connected with their purpose. To rise up and not be afraid to take that first step because you can trust God in your journey. As you read the journey I took in my book called Just Say Yes, you will find that you too can have confidence to walk your own. Deb x

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