Friday, August 20, 2010

Butterfly Dance

Having accomplished my mission of paying various medical bills in town with my trusty HSA card, I succumbed to the lure of the Starbucks gift card in my wallet and began the search for a parking space somewhere within two blocks of the store, knowing it likely to be an impossible task with the returning college students newly back in town. Stopped at a light, I watched in delight as a car pulled out from a space that somehow remained empty long enough for me to fill it. Minutes later I was sipping a white chocolate mocha, munching on a slice of iced lemon pound cake, and drinking in the peace and serenity found in a moment with God in the beauty of His creation, lakeside at Hueston Woods State Park. My nerves have been on edge a lot of late, indications of internal struggles to deal with inevitable life change, despite my best efforts to keep a cheerful face forward. I needed that moment of normalcy with God in my favorite place. Thankful (and surprised!) to find it deserted, I sat at a picnic table and soaked in the quiet loveliness surrounding me, my only companions the two lazy great blue herons whose slow, smooth sailing just feet above the water was equally soothing to my frazzled state of mind, and an abundance of butterflies of various sorts fluttering all around me.

I noticed that the walnut tree above me was starting to lose its leaves, and felt a twinge of sadness as their slow spiral to the ground seemed to confirm the end of one season in my life and the beginning of another, emotionally as well as physically. My reluctance to loosen my hold on the season past was preventing me from entering wholeheartedly into the one to come.

A sudden breeze sent another rash of leaves loose from their branches, and suddenly I noticed a butterfly rising and falling, swirling and swaying, seeming to actually dance among them as they twirled their way to the ground! I couldn't help but smile at the butterfly's enjoyment of the moment as it delighted in the new dance partners it found in each burst of wind! Surely there are few animals in God's kingdom with a shorter life span that the butterfly, and perhaps it knew better than to waste a single moment of its short existence in sad reflection or regret, but instead eagerly embraced the signs of change with joy and eager anticipation. What a lesson to me whose life span is likewise way too short to waste in looking back instead of to the happiness that lies ahead!

Coffee and cake now gone, so were my feelings of sadness, and I exited the park with a lightness in my spirit and steps that reflected what I'd learned in the butterfly dance I'd just witnessed, with gratitude in my heart to the God Who sent it my way.

"You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, To the end that my tongue and my heart and everything glorious within me may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
(Psalm 30:11-12 AMP)

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