Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chasing and Catching Fireflies

This week, Sondra and I have been blessed to host her cousins and their friends at our home. Noel and Janet are successful "farmers" (livestock and Christmas trees) and their friends, Julian and Nikki (whom we have not met before) are self-employed remodelers (that is my term for what Julian explained) who are all from New Zealand. They are traveling the States visiting Janet and Noel's daughter and son-in-law in NYC and then making their way back to Houston via train and rental car. They were gracious enough to add us into their itinerary and stayed with us two nights. AND IT WAS A BLAST!

On the way back from dinner on Monday evening, the boys and I were driving down a country road close to our house when all of sudden, Julian says, "What is that?" I asked for some clarity as to what "that" meant and he said those little shining lights that keep going on and off.  I looked up and said, "Oh, those are lightning bugs or fireflies." They were both astounded and soon became almost giddy. "You mean those are bugs!?!" I said, "Yep, those are bugs that God made and their butts light up!" We soon pulled over and got out of the vehicle and went about chasing and catching fireflies.

And . . . it was so much fun! Here are three grown men chasing and catching fireflies and loving every bit of the experience. Noel and Julian had never seen fireflies before. Ever. New Zealand (like even many regions here in the States) do not have fireflies. They had never seen them or even heard of them. They were quick to add that they had glow worms in NZed however. Tit for tat. ;-)

And then it hit me while we were chasing and catching fireflies. I had known about fireflies since I was a little boy growing up in Missouri. I had caught hundreds, if not thousands of them, in Mason jars; caught others to pull off their "lights" and make a ring for my finger; and had grown so used to them that I did not even notice them now that I have grown older. And it made me a little sad for myself. Familiarity breeds complacency in me too many times. If I am not careful, I can miss the beauty and wonder of God in His creation. I can miss the beauty and wonder in Sondra; my kids; my neighbors; the people I have the privilege of ministering to and with and serving.

"May I never lose that sense of wonder" is a line from a popular song a few years back by Lee Ann Womack. I like that song and even sing it in my head some times, but still too frequently seem to lose that sense of wonder.

You will find me outside more often at night chasing and catching fireflies. Feel free to join me. I promise we will laugh, remember, make new memories and rejoice. Thanks Noel and Julian for reminding me of the beauty of the wonder.