Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Butterflies from God

So I'm driving down the road the other day and I look ahead to see this beautiful butterfly fluttering across this road. I think to myself how it resembles a Monarch but know that it's not a Monarch since they're not common here in Texas. It has to be a Viceroy butterfly as they closely resemble the Monarch (we've studied this in science, I really don't just pull this stuff out of my head. I'm good, but I'm not that good.) This particular stretch of road is 2 lanes coming, 2 lanes going, turn lane in the middle and car-width shoulders on either side. In essence, it's a 7 lane road of ugly, hard, hot Texas concrete.

Above the road I spy this beautiful butterfly fluttering across. It's easy to picture this small piece of beauty above all that ugliness many consider "progress."

I'm going the speed limit. Ok, well, I'm likely going about 5-10 over as I'm not a very patient driver, but that's neither here nor there. I'm driving.

I see the butterfly above the lanes of traffic and actually think to myself how much I hope to pass it so that I don't hit it. Not because I don't want the bug "guts" on my car, but because this beautiful fragile thing is attempting to cross such a treacherous path just to reach the hibiscus on the other side. It has its purpose in life, sipping nectar and aiding in pollination. That seems quite simple, doesn't it?

Out of nowhere, another car comes speeding to the right of me and the butterfly is literally thrown into the air in the rush of the car's tailwind. It's upside down. It's left. It's right. Who knows what comes of it. Does anyone really care? You know what? I do.

I left that intersection immediately moved and contemplating the bigger picture this entire experience represented to me. I'll share with you.

Life generally starts out as one thing and we have a metamorphosis in life from youth to adulthood which should leave us realizing that there are (many) treacherous paths to cross to reach the one thing we desire (Heaven). There are many speeding cars in life that will come zooming by us and throw us for a loop just as that car did, but I like to think that it had a gentle hand helping right it and head in the right direction.

I mean, look at it this way, the butterfly started out as a caterpillar which has to consume in order to grow. It was required to take in vast amounts of nourishment just in order for it to complete the metamorphosis cycle. Then it builds the cocoon or, chrysalis around itself only to emerge later as this amazingly beautiful creature -- these tiny fragile wonders of God. Honestly, I don't think we're any different.

For, like the butterfly we start out as one thing... youth where we, too, will take in vast amounts of nourishment not only for our bodies and minds but also (and most importantly,) our spirits. We get out on our own and go through a metamorphosis and hopefully, by the grace of God, we will, too, turn into this beautiful creature created in His image. I don't think, however, we see our lives as fragile as those of the butterfly, but really they are even more so. Think of all the treacherous elements we are up against every day -- pornography, drugs, violence, suffering, gluttony, pride, envy, greed, wrath, lust, sloth. Yeah, the "Seven Deadly Sins" are present in almost every facet of our daily lives but since they're so commonplace, it's hard to identify them as such, isn't it? Scary.

Sometimes in this thing we call "life" we're the butterfly with our eyes on the goal, only to have some speeding car come by and toss our lives upside down feeling completely out of control of it all. Usually, it's only in those moments when we are completely out of control that we realize that we have to have faith and trust in Him so that we can make it to our ultimate goal.

So, from this brief experience in my Town and Country just driving down the road, I realize that there are moments when you need to stop in your tracks and appreciate the beauty in something small, fragile and vulnerable. Life to me was represented by that butterfly. When you're so busy zooming through your schedules, business, deadlines, gluttenous over-volunteerism, sports practice packed, fast food riddled life, you realize that if you never stop to look at the small wonders, there really is no purpose at all.

It all came to me through that one small conversation with God I had in my car... when he sent me a butterfly.


Alexis AKA MOM said...

April that is beautiful! Always knowing he is around us and acknowledging it ;)

brandt! said...

i love this post ... very nicely written!