I placed my Diet Coke on a nearby table and settled into one of the front porch rockers. The book I had brought with me remained closed on my lap. Instead of reading, I gazed at tall pines, listened to birds chirping good-night to each other, and breathed in cool mountain air.
What a stark contrast to home, I thought. My husband, two sons, and I had escaped the oppressive summer heat of our Florida home, and were vacationing in a North Carolina rental cabin.
Not long after settling, I noticed an enormous Luna moth perched on the porch railing. He appeared to be sleeping soundly. His shapely sea foam wings stretched out primly, in a perfect display of shimmering symmetry. Not even an antenna moved.
In the sweet idleness of that moment, I had time to wonder.
When do you suppose moths wake up? Is it at dusk, or does it have to be completely dark? And what will be the first part to move? Will his wings flutter a bit in warm-up? Or will those long antennae flicker, checking his surroundings before he ventures into the night?
My knowledge of Luna moths was sorely lacking.
I made strong attempts to read my book, but kept distracting myself for updates on that moth–especially as the sun dipped lower in the sky and shadows deepened.
Eric, our older son, came out on the porch. He stood with hands in pockets, watching the sunset. “What’s up, Mom?”
“This is going to sound silly,” I began, “but see that moth over there? I’ve gotten curious about when they wake up. Is it at dusk or only when it’s completely dark? And as if that isn’t enough, I’m wondering what part of him will wake up first. Do you suppose it will be his antennae that move first, or maybe his wings?”
Eric chuckled slightly—not sarcastically, but in good humor that once again his mother’s curiosity was taking an interesting turn. I thought he’d turn and go back inside the cabin. To my delightful surprise, he chose to sit in the rocker next to me.
Together we kept vigil over that moth as the sunlight diminished to an apricot glow on the horizon, and the landscape turned dark gray. Still that moth did not move. And soon we were all enveloped by the night.
Suddenly, with barely a testing of his wings, the majestic moth was off the railing and fluttering away. Eric and I barely had time to say, “Oh! There he goes!” before the moth disappeared into the darkness.
We sat quietly for a few moments longer, listening to the crickets chirping cheerfully. With a contented sigh I reveled in the moment: the cool, peaceful surroundings and my satisfied curiosity. Most of all I savored that Eric had chosen to share with me this rather inconsequential moment.
Just a few years earlier, if I had asked Eric to sit with me and watch a moth, he would have said, “BOR-ING!” and loped off to other pursuits. But that year he was twenty-four. We were starting to relate to one another differently, share more common interests, and communicate on a similar level. Eric was still my son, but he was also becoming a friend.
Reminds me a bit of what our Heavenly Father offers. As we mature in him, our relationship grows into a loving, familial friendship, characterized by common interests and heart-to-heart communication. But such a relationship develops only as we spend time with him and his word.
Those who say, “Time with God is BOR-ING!” and lope off to other pursuits are missing out.
On what, you ask?
• The joy of His presence (Psalm 16:11)
• The goodness he bestows (Psalm 31:19)
• His strength (Psalm 138:2-3)
• Rest, in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1)
• Perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3)
Such precious gifts, Father: joy, goodness, strength, rest, and peace. I praise you with all my heart for being a God who pursues a warm, loving relationship with his children. May I seek your face in return. Always.