When the radio came on the other day I thought, “What a sweet way for God to wake us up.” Yes, I do realize that I’d set an alarm but apparently my foggy morning brain had not registered that truth. Trust me, this is not generally the first thought I have when I wake up. Usually I’m thinking, “Why in the world is the alarm going off so early?!” That’s not to say I jumped out of bed the minute I heard the music. Oh no. I reached over, turned off the alarm, encouraged John to get up, and then burrowed back into my “cocoon of covers” to go back to sleep.
That’s when it hit me; I am a butterfly. I know, you think I’ve lost my mind now but come on–it was early! Here’s the rabbit hole my brain went down at that early hour. When a butterfly first emerges from his cocoon he crawls out of the chrysalis and hangs from it or from a nearby surface, and SLOWLY starts moving his wings back and forth, back and forth to dry them. He doesn’t go anywhere until his wings are dry. In other words, he doesn’t rush into life. And that’s how I’m like a butterfly. I like to ease into each day–moving slowly so as not to hurt anything. But once I get started, I can flit around from project to project all day long, never spending very much time in any one spot. Well, flit might be a bit of a stretch but still you get the idea.
Once I was fully awake I decided to do a little research on butterflies and it seems we have other characteristics in common, too. For instance, many butterflies migrate to warmer weather when the temperatures start to drop. It seems like they aren’t all that fond of winter. Me neither! See? I am a butterfly.
One other thing: as a butterfly ages the color of the wings fade, and unlike me butterflies do not have a salon to help those poor girls with their color issues! Butterfly wings also become more ragged with age. Well, ragged isn’t the exact term I’d use to describe my aging body, but it’s close enough. Who knew we had so much in common?
I remembered, as I was thinking about butterflies, a book I’d once read called The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews. Andrews tells the story of Edward Lorenz who came up with the theory that when a butterfly flapped its wings, it set molecules of air into motion, which move other molecules of air and so on until eventually it is capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet. At first, other scientists laughed at this preposterous idea but eventually it was determined to be fact. In his book, Andrews contends that we are like butterflies in that our lives, no matter how seemingly insignificant, make a difference for generations to come.
The truth is, we’ll never know the full effect of our lives until we reach our eternal home and the Lord shows us how every day our actions affected someone else’s actions, which affected someone else’s and so on. Kind of incredible when you think about how God made us for a specific purpose and we’ll only know the real significance of it all when God reveals it to us in eternity.
So really, we’re all like butterflies. Some of you jump out of bed in the morning excited to greet the day. Others are more like me and start the day at a slower speed. Either way, your days matter, your life matters, and your actions make a difference.
But, if you’re near my house at 6:00 in the morning–tip toe, please!
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.