Chasing Fireflies

FirefliesOne of our 4th of July traditions is to watch the fireworks.  Now, we try to balance this with avoiding the crowds.  We don’t choose to go up close by the launch site but instead back off a bit and arrive early.  This gives us ample time to enjoy some of our other pre-fireworks traditions, throwing the football or Frisbee and chasing fireflies.

This last weekend, that is what our youngest was intent on doing.  She had spotted a firefly and was so focused on trying to get it, she didn’t want anything else.  But as you know, fireflies flash only intermittently and that kept the firefly safe from her little fingers.  She would spot its bright light and dash toward it, only to lose it when the light went out.  Then, it would flash again, some distance away from her, and she would take off only to lose it again!  Once, the firefly took a dive and landed on the ground.  So she ran to where it was located and looked for it.  However in the dusk, a non-glowing little bug is hard to spot.  So she looked at her sister and me to say that she couldn’t find it at the exact second when the firefly light flashed.  We exclaimed and pointed at the ground for her to see the firefly, only to have her look a moment after the light went out.  Three times, she looked away perfectly timed to miss the bright little flash!

Finally, she saw it and reached down to capture it.  We tried to help her not squish the small bug in her fingers and finally got it cupped in her hands.  Then it crawled all over her fingers but would not light up.  No amount of coaxing from her would get it to show its little blaze.  At last, all of her waiting paid off and she was rewarded with two little blinks of light before it flew off into the night.

Beautiful moments like these always make me think of how they can be reflected in our own lives.

Sometimes we see something we want, something we think we need – whether it is attention, a job, a relationship.  And we chase it!  We follow it through tall grasses and over little hills.  We think that we know where it is going and we follow after it, but oftentimes we lose sight of where it is.  We forget our motivation for finding it and are all consumed by the chase itself.  We catch glimpses of where it may be but we always look away right when the location of the desire may be revealed.  Many times, we just barely miss what it is we think we want and need.  We get distracted and look away.

When at times, we actually do acquire our heart’s desire, our own actions and sinfulness can take away from the beauty of it, nearly squashing it.  And other times, we have it right there in our grasp but it is not working out the way that we want it to.  We aren’t getting that flash of light that we so wanted.  And when we finally do get that little glitter of light, it is perhaps less than we hoped for and often fleeting so that we don’t get to hold on to whatever it is.

But it is at those times, we need to remember just to sit back in our chairs, watch the little fireflies blink by, and settle in for the bigger fireworks of God’s dreams for our lives.  They are so much more spectacular and amazing than any little firefly we have been chasing after.  God’s plan for our lives can be explosive and beautiful, sparkling in the dark night long after the fireflies have blinked out.



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