It’s been a good year for lightning bugs.
One of my summertime delights is to grab a cup of coffee and sit on my porch step in the settling darkness, looking for the little beams of life and light that rise from the grass of the front yard to the sky. It’s a moment of peace and tranquility that I carve out for myself if ever I’m home at that time of night. With late night work schedules and a packed calendar on my days off, those moments seem to be increasingly hard to find. Even on those seemingly free evenings there are duties galore demanding my attention, but I work with one eye on the clock and stop just after the sun goes down for that half-hour time slot that is so easy to miss.
A schedule change found me unexpectedly at home last night, and I knew in my heart what I wanted to do. When nine o’clock rolled around I got the coffee ready, and then minutes later I stepped out of my busy life for a few minutes, leaving Game 7 of the basketball finals going strong on TV, the basket of laundry to be folded beside the coffee table still overflowing, and the piles of clean clothes waiting to be put away left in my wake.
The quiet I sought wasn’t to be found outside, either. Several loud BOOMs echoed up and down the street as a neighbor tested his fireworks inventory for an upcoming Fourth of July celebration. The lady across the street yelled repeatedly at her dog, even as her father-in-law on his motorcycle roared out of the driveway and headed on home. A train’s horn blasted across the countryside as it approached the nearby small town. One by one I shut out the distractions and focused on the little lights rising to the sky.
My spirit did the same, rising to meet the Friend who waits to meet with me in those moments that I set aside specifically to pursue and enjoy our friendship. Together we reflected on the day gone by, what I had done, and the things I didn’t find time to do. Deliberately we looked for those moments that surprised us, delighted us, or were somehow worthy of a second look, a rerun on the mental video screen.. A firm believer of ending the day on a happy note, I followed the Biblical mandate to think on things that were pure and good and lovely. My days are simply filled with little moments of God’s light and presence, glimmers of life and hope and happiness that rise in the darkness surrounding me, and it’s those that I look for to reflect upon when I step outside of my noisy, busy world for a moment and notice them as deliberately as I do the fireflies.
I’m grateful that it’s been a good year for both.
“And he said, Go forth and stand on the mountain before Jehovah. And behold, Jehovah passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke the rocks in pieces before Jehovah. But Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind was an earthquake, but Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake was a fire, but Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire was a still, small voice.”
(1 Kings 19:11-12 MKJV)