I’m not a bug person.

I used to say that there wasn’t a single bug or insect on this planet that I liked. I would like to officially amend that statement now.

There is not a single bug or insect on this planet that I like—except the lightening bug.

I grew up in Southern California and Las Vegas Nevada. We’ve rarely, if ever, traveled out to the other side of the country, and when we have, it’s always been in the winter. That’s how, in the twenty-four years of my life, I’d never seen a lightening bug, let alone caught one. Until now, that is.

A couple days ago, I was sitting on the porch with my mentor, watching the lightening bugs and silently pondering life.

I half-mindedly asked how one would go about catching a lightening bug. If there’s one thing I know about insects, it’s that they’re fast. Especially if you’re trying to catch or kill them.

Catching the Lightening Bug

Well, apparently all bugs except lightening bugs are fast and they are, in fact, quite catchable. A point for the lightening bug, in my books. My mentor led me down the porch and we stood in his yard, waiting to catch that faint glow in the corner of our eyes. It took little less than five minutes to corner one in the planter.

I snapped my cupped hands around it and froze. If there’s one other thing I know about bugs—it’s that they bite and I hate the gross, heebie jeebie feeling of them skuttling over my flesh with their tiny, gross, legs.

I freaked out, my hands tightly closed, muttering the words ‘ew’ and ‘did I get it?!’, like a mantra. Slowly, I peeled my hands opened to reveal—nothing. Above us, the lightening bug glowed as if mocking me.

It was then I set my heart on catching it. Confidently, this time, I jumped up and snapped my hands around it. Slowly I peeled back my thumb, and I watched as it crawled around my fingers and then—my hand lit up with a beautiful yellow glow. Another point for the lightening bug.

Catching lightning bugs might be a childhood experience for you. Or maybe it’s something you’ve never done before. Either way, it made me realize a couple things.

1. We need to take joy in the little things

God made this world so vast and so beautiful. So full of different experiences and things to do that, no matter how many you do, I doubt you’ll do them all. What haven’t you seen before? What haven’t you experienced? It’s so important to hold onto that question, because sometimes? Life sucks! It’s hard and it’s painful.

When life seems like too much, it’s important to remind yourself of the good that exists, no matter how tiny or seemingly insignificant. It’s important to go out and catch a lightening bug.

2. What’s stopping you?

I almost didn’t go down to the yard. I hesitated and hummed and hawed because I didn’t want to look silly, and I was hesitant about catching a bug with my bare hands. What else am I missing out from, that God has created for me to enjoy, just because I don’t want to look silly? Or just because I’m afraid? No matter how big or how small, I find God presents us specific moments where we can lean into his presence and choose joy, or lean away and say, ‘that’s stupid’ or ‘I don’t care’.

The tiny moment God presented me this week was catching a lightening bug. What moment is God presenting you with?

Y’know, one great way to practice joy is found here–in my free five day devotional!

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