Fireflies At Night

fireflyPeople rarely partner stubbed toes and skinned knees with moments of pleasure . . . unless you’ve been a carefree child who chased the sentinels of light through the darkness of July nights. Even though those carefree days of bare feet and childhood innocence are long gone, I still enjoy the nocturnal dance of fireflies as they flutter across the night sky.

The waltz of the firefly reminds me of an old quote by Beecher:

If I were made a firefly, it would not become me to say: “If God had only made me a star to shine always, then I would shine.” It is my duty, if I am a firefly, to fly and sparkle, and fly and sparkle; not to shut my wings down over my phosphorescent self because God did not make me a sun or a star.

Regardless of person’s station in life, there seems to be a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction.  Solomon commented on this in Proverbs 27:19-20:  Just as water reflects a person’s true face, so the human heart reflects a person’s true character. As Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so the eyes of a person are never satisfied.

From their teenage years forward, people engage in an unending search for that elusive person, place, or thing that will satisfy the desires of their heart. The trivial pursuits of this world’s pleasures will never provide lasting satisfaction; you simply cannot find fulfillment in empty promises

Lasting peace and satisfaction is not found in the creation, but in the Creator:

  • Jesus said: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
  • God satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul is filled with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
  • Notice the promise of Psalm 16:11: God You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

The next time you see a firefly at night, pause and think about what it means to be content in and satisfied through Jesus.  When you do this, it might help to reflect on these words of Paul:

 I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles. ~Philippians 4 (The Message)

Do Dollars and Cents Equal Good Sense?

moneyThe year was 1976, the band was ABBA, and the song was Money Money Money. The song perpetuated the myth that all you have to do to be happy is to have a lot of money and accumulate many possessions.
The first stanza of the song says:

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That’s too bad
In my dreams I have a plan
If I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all, I’d fool around and have a ball…

I’m not criticizing wealth, but I do not believe a hefty bank account guarantees happiness. Let me give you a contrast:

• If you are looking for a home, I hope you realize you cannot buy one. You can buy a house, but your family makes the home.
• If you get sick, you can buy the most expensive medicine in the world, but you still can’t buy health.
• You can buy the best seats at a sporting arena, but that does not mean you can purchase friendship.
• People invest a small fortune in a good bed, but the newly purchased mattress can’t guarantee a good night’s sleep.

Things or possessions will never replace relationships and wanting more will never be as satisfying as a fulfilling relationship with God.

I’ll wrap this up with three quotes that address the issue of wisdom, wealth, and good sense:

• Will Rogers: “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”
• Solomon: “How much better it is to acquire wisdom than gold, and to acquire understanding is more desirable than silver (Proverbs 16:16).”
• Epictetus: “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”