Have you ever been tangled up inside, worrying about something, only to realize you were about to miss a blessing? Recently I was worrying over a decidedly poor decision a friend had made while unloading our van after a freezer stock-up at a large chain grocery. I smashed the salad greens a little too tight and wondered what my role should be. I lifted large bags of frozen fruit and meat, hefting big thoughts alongside, like whether I should say something or remain quiet and pray.
I looked up and the most magnificent, huge yellow and black butterfly was right overhead, playing with the tree near our driveway. It was dancing between the leaves in a gentle breeze. Gorgeous. This made me smile since after the fires I went crazy with butterflies, a symbol of rebirth. Let’s just say they’re even on our dishes, and I planted large amounts of milkweed in the back yard so we often have a lovely group of floating visitors in our Southern California climate.
Seeing the carefree butterfly, I understood what the Lord wanted me to do. I could choose worry, which is pretty useless to accomplish anything, or resume the former programming already in progress—my own new beginning. I could choose a place and mindset where fear and damaged memories cannot dance with the butterflies.
I am sad for this friend, for the losses known or unknown by her choices. I cannot alter her path. I can’t carry the past’s luggage allotment and be able to be free to reach for new opportunities if I keep looking down. But I can make my own choice to dwell with the dancing butterflies.
Part of being resilient means finding hope in the little corners of life, and not letting the darkness park in its familiar spots near me. Recognize when to take that thought captive, and make it subject to God’s greatest vision for you and your life today.
How do you keep your thinking and actions ready for opportunities rather than dwelling on past hurts?
I’d love to hear from you!
P.S. I wrote this a few days earlier, and then remembered today is the seven year anniversary of the October 2007 firestorm. Lord, we ask your blessing on those hard memories, and want to be free to dance with the butterflies today. Help us lay down our burdens and remember afresh and anew your tender mercies. Amen.