I love watching Ranger TV! Don’t bother trying to find this channel on your local cable provider – it’s not available. Don’t think that you will be able to tune into this channel through satellite television – they don’t carry this channel. However, if it was a television channel, I would probably subscribe to it and spend all night long watching it. I could watch Ranger TV for endless hours and not turn the channel.
No, Ranger TV doesn’t consist of blowing stuff up or shooting people. Ask anyone who has ever attended the US Army’s Ranger Course and they will immediately tell you that “Ranger TV” is the phrased used to describe watching a small fire burn down. I’m not sure when the phrase Ranger TV was first associated with watching a fire burn. I think it probably has something to do with Ranger students out in the woods on a bitter cold night. Any Ranger student will tell you that the few nights when they were allowed to start a small “squad-sized fire” are some of their greatest memories of Ranger school. Maybe this is where the phrase “Ranger TV” originates.
Fascinated by the fire
There are few other things to keep a Ranger student occupied like a small fire in the middle of a bitter cold winter night. Perhaps that’s why fire fascinates me. I don’t think I would be considered a pyromaniac. However, I could sit and watch a fire all night long. A warm crackling fire is one of the things that I love most about the winter season. I’ll sometimes light a fire in the fireplace just to watch it burn, even though it’s not really cold outside.
You will probably find this weird, but it’s not even the heat from the fireplace that I enjoy most. I really like watching the flames dance across the logs. More than once I have found myself staring into the fireplace while losing all track of time. I consider fire to be one of God’s gracious gifts to people. I don’t just enjoy watching a fire in the fireplace; after a hard day, I often feel better just spending a few minutes watching Ranger TV.
Like a moth to an open flame
I’m also fascinated by bug zappers. (By now, you’re probably certain that I’m weird.) Did you ever notice how those bug zappers cause endless insects to fly to their death? Here’s what fascinates me: Why don’t the rest of the bugs ever learn from the first bug’s spectacular death? It’s only natural that you would head toward the bug zapper if you and all of your little bug buddies are flying around with each other on a Friday night when you notice a light on the horizon. Why don’t the rest of the bugs in the group get the picture when the first guy explodes into a ball of flame after flying into the big bright blue light?
Like moths to an open flame, a fire gets people’s attention. Watch the nightly news when they are reporting about a fire. You can see crowds of people across the street watching the fire department do its job. Ranger TV can be more than fascinating; it can be hypnotizing!
I’m ready to burn
I believe God created fire to capture our attention. I believe it is one of God’s simple gifts to keep us warm and to entertain us on a dark cold night. I also believe God uses fire to draw a crowd. There’s a great example of God using fire to draw a crowd in Acts 2:2-3.
This event is so spectacular that the Bible uses unusual language to describe it. When God sent his Holy Spirit, it filled the house where the people were staying. I believe the Bible is using this moment to describe the birth date of the Christian church! God sent his Holy Spirit to fill the room where his people were meeting. God continues to send his Holy Spirit today to fill the room when his people are meeting together in worship. We call this act today, “church.”
I also think it’s important to notice that God sends his Holy Spirit to fill people individually. It is almost as if God’s Spirit lights individuals on fire at the same time that He lights his church on fire. God is still in the business of sending his Holy Spirit to fill men and women. He does this at the moment of salvation.
Notice finally what happens when God’s people are set on fire with his Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:5-11 people take notice when the fire of God’s Holy Spirit descends on someone. In fact, everyone in the crowd stood amazed at what they were seeing and hearing when God’s Spirit came to the church. I believe God is still in the business of sending his Holy Spirit to set men and women on fire. I believe God sets men and women on fire by his Holy Spirit so that others can see it. I further believe when a man or a woman is set on fire by God’s Holy Spirit, others will be drawn to the flame like Ranger TV!