Take it from the Butterfly

When my son was younger, we had a few home school groups we belonged to so we could both have time with friends and also have “school” classes together.  Some of our groups were more for park days just to get out and have fun.

For a smaller group of us who still get together when we can, we called ourselves the Butterfly Club.  Most of us and/or our kids would be classified as ADHD, and our brains are always flitting off in all directions at once- kind of like butterflies.

Often times, as with butterflies, one sees the erratic flight and thinks it’s just meandering off for no particular reason, but eventually it leads to where it’s going.  It’s the same way with us. Many of you have seen it in my writing style as well because I usually have so many different angles I look at things, it takes a while down a few different paths to get to the main point. Kind of like this devotional lol.

Butterflies may seem erratic and ditsy but they serve an important part in pollination helping fruits and vegetables grow new seeds, and if you notice a lot of butterflies, it is the sign of a healthy ecosystem and environment.  Butterflies serve a purpose, and so do we. Although we don’t always know what our purpose, or calling might be, which can lead to what we might think as mindless drifting about in day to day work or life.

Some people seem to be born knowing what they “want to be” or what they are called for. Some folks such as soldiers or missionaries know from an early age that is what they are meant to do. For others, such as myself, life seems to be a series of little journeys with a lot of side paths which sometimes makes me feel like I’m chasing those erratic butterflies. Other times it feels as if I’ve been on the same path (more like hamster wheel) forever.

So for those of us who haven’t found our purpose (or maybe just haven’t paid attention- but more on that in a minute) does that mean we’re doomed to the treadmill of life, or can we get out there on those more exciting paths that we just know God has for us, but haven’t found it yet?

The fact is, we all have a purpose, even if we haven’t necessarily found the one in which we devote our life’s ‘work’ occupation to.  Yes, some people seem to be created for the jobs they do, and others seem to find ways to incorporate their passions, skills and gifts in their daily work.  Still others find ways outside of their jobs to fulfill another calling- but we all have one main mission which Jesus commanded…

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Our main purpose as Christians is to tell the good news to others, and it doesn’t necessarily mean missionary work on the other side of the world. These days with technologies only imagined a few decades ago, we can share the gospel to others around the world even through the internet, but we can also do so in our own neighborhoods.

Our church is very missions orientated- we have sent off missionaries, the latest a young couple and their 3 year old daughter to Taiwan last year, and we also support many others. We have missionaries come and speak or give sermons at our church, and many in our church go on week or two week missions to places like the Caribbean or even to the main Indian reservation a couple of hours away.  Our pastor and others remind us that not everyone can go- but we can all support those who do.

Sunday we had a missionary who serves with his wife in the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican and about 5 other islands including Trinidad and Tobago. He showed the way they are reaching out to people, building relationships as they share the gospel, and helping some of the islanders to support themselves and also plant new churches. Many of the people have some sort of religion, but they don’t have the relationship with Jesus which makes a true believer.  They offer mission trips for people to come help build homes, teach kids, give medical aid and other services while sharing the love of Christ. While I am still uncertain for many reasons, the past few years I have thought more and more about mission work somewhere. But I don’t know if it’s my own restlessness or an actual calling- especially since I have no real skills which missionaries require.

So, this leads me to making our own communities our mission fields. My bosses do work for the church and are always involved both in the church and in our community. Some of you folks know that my son and I help feed the homeless once a month, and there are other community projects that our church is involved in, but so far, I am still trying to get a sense of what the Lord is preparing for me to do- because I do have the want to do something.  I’d just prefer to do something I’m good at or comfortable with lol. I think that’s a problem a lot of Christians have. If they are willing to serve, they usually shy away from the greater needs, because they are too much like home (nursery/children’s ministry and kitchen help).  I did these at my old church, and while I didn’t mind, they definitely left me with the dry, obligated feeling instead of something that was a calling.

So, is there a definite calling or does the Lord require boot camp in something less fulfilling in order to test our faithfulness in other work down the road? Or do we wait until something comes that we know we could definitely do and enjoy it at the same time?

We do know that God calls us to live a life that brings glory to God. We also know that we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul

In everything you do, whether it’s the mundane work we have, or doing something which we love, bring glory to God and make decisions that honor Him.

The Lord promised is that if we listen to and meditate on his Word, we will know how to be more Christlike, walk the talk and live our faith more abundantly. Maybe living in this way we are free to choose which ministry, mission work or occupations we love to do, as long as they honor and glorify Him.

If we are still unsure of where we should go, remember- God has placed you in your family, and community to fulfill His purposes for your life in this time and place. Even if we feel as though we’re going along erratically like that butterfly on a path that seems to lead nowhere,  He is still working out His will for you in His time.

When if comes time that He does call you however, how will you respond? Will you submit or resist Him? Sometimes we are so busy complaining that we don’t know what He wants for us, but we avoid or ignore the opportunities He puts in front of us because it’s not necessarily something we want to do. Maybe the cost of obedience seems too high, but what about the cost of disobedience?

I know I don’t find much satisfaction working at a job out of necessity, even though my bosses are a blessing and a joy to work with- I don’t relish the thought of doing this the rest of my life, or doing some ministry that leaves me dry and tired either.  But the thought of missing an opportunity, or worse, saying “No” like a willful child, knowing that I disappoint Him and He will use someone else isn’t something I want either. I’d rather be a light, even if a small one- whether here on the internet or in my small community, whether that leads me to far off places some time in the future or not.

The waiting and uncertainty is hard sometimes, but as most of us have figured out already, He knows better than we do what we are created for, what our gifts and talents are, what our purpose is and more so, that His timing is perfect.

Let’s learn to be joyful even if we’re chasing butterflies.