I've been doing more walking lately, trying to take some control over what a half century old body needs to keep functioning properly. Some of these walks have been in the evening as sunset fades to dusk and twilight erupts around my neighborhood. I'm in a rural part of my county with only a few, simple street lights on my road. There are several patches of dense brush and growth that provide a home to some of God's simplest creatures.
Among the rabbits and squirrels and even bats, there are plenty of fireflies, especially in those areas with denser brush and some swampy grass. A humid night (and we have plenty of those) brings out these glowing orbs in flight and that's what prompted me to write this post.
I'm a believer in an intentionally created world. I'm not one tied to the whole "young Earth" mantra and I think there are a lot of complexities in the whole equation that we're just not supposed to figure out. Some I know will argue that everything has a specific purpose; some will advocate for progressive states that transform over long periods of time. In answer to all of them, I'll offer my little friends, the fireflies in my neighborhood.
They live for just a couple of months, don't bite me and provide hours of endless joy to children who love to catch them in jars. The more mischievous of us may or may not have caught a couple and smashed them on our noses to get a little glow effect ourselves. But, as I've been walking and seeing them, I've asked, "What purpose do they serve?" My answer seems to be a mix of "none" and "everything" ... let me explain that.
Fireflies are a manifestation of God's whimsy. They are here to make children of all ages smile. Nothing specific of grand about that purpose, and yet it is oh so vital to our existence. In such an act of creative craziness, my Father tells me in no uncertain terms that he loves me and that life is here for me to enjoy. It's up to me to choose to embrace that opportunity and smile as a result.
The Crooked Path provides many opportunities to stop and take in scenes that normally go unnoticed. My encouragement to you today is to be more intentional about finding those scenes ... and to go for a walk in the warm, humid evening so you can smile at the fireflies. That is, after all, why they are here.