When I was a child I had an obsession with hunting fireflies. I would snatch all of them up and stuff their blinking butts into a jar. After capturing as many as I could, I would make a comfortable home inside the jar with grass, rocks, and leaves. I thought that if I made them feel as if they were staying in a five star hotel they wouldn’t resent me for keeping them locked away over night. My firefly moments would live in that jar if I had it my way. I would capture the moments, stare at them until I understood what they needed to tell me, and once that process was complete I would lovingly open the jar and finally send them on their way. But - Life moments are not firefly moments.
I crave to savor moments, with all the details and flavors - sweet or, maybe bitter …. but always leaving me wanting more. More understanding of why it came and left so quickly. Either giving me something or robbing me of something. With no explanation or apology granted.
I find myself frustrated when moments depart because I want to truly understand the meat of the moment; the lesson being thrown at me - but, like most things, the greatest lessons take time. I wish it were instantaneous, the understanding process. I could avoid the pain and time ticking by as the moment slips away if my brain would just “get it”.
I have an unhealthy practice of trying to stay one step ahead of life. I snoop, pry, and prepare, for those disaster moments and flinch at the sight of a “surprise” moment. I hate surprises. Please don’t take it personally, I love you, I just hate your surprises - because I am no longer in control.
I wonder if you struggle with the same weakness I have? - that is, to cling to moments, grab them by the tail and refuse to let them go until they’ve ‘fessed up to their business here and told you all their secrets. I know it can be addicting hunting fireflies, but could we trust God and our own self-confidence to understand the moments without having to capture them? As the fireflies dance around each evening, I would invite you to sit and watch, maybe with a cup of sweet tea. Watch them dance, listen to their stories and refuse the temptation to go fetch the jar.
Trusting that God knows what he’s doing, that people aren’t out to shatter my heart, and that I actually CAN handle anything is my life's work. This is the part of me I am still working on. I am proud of this work, and will share everything I know with you about trusting life's most unexpected moments.
I don’t trust easily or confidently. Trust is usually done with closed eyes, a racing heart, and my hand in my husbands being led on what feels like the steepest paths of a mountain. Like all practices there are days I fail miserably. There are days where I go get the jar and start collecting, where I start praying the moments will just stay put.
Stay, for just a moment longer so that I can learn something, make sense out of this firefly moment.
Catch, and release. Or better yet, sit and watch.
Perhaps this is the moment,
for which you have been created.
- Esther 4:14