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The 2nd Sunday After Pentecost; Proper 10

Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened that their friend was dead, gone forever. Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying. So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life that   he had never known existed. Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended. But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life.

The beetle didn’t know his world was going to expand into something wonderful. Still he had the courage to venture into the unknown. All he wanted when he set out was a peek into what was to come and look what he found.   He had faith he would not be harmed.  Mind you, he was sad he couldn’t get back to tell his friends but knew he would see them again when their journey was complete.  He needed patience in waiting for the celebration.  This new life was good and there was no going back.

Like the beetle, we all need to take the leap of faith once in a while just as he did when he climbed the flower.  Courage, faith and patience will take us to some wonderful places while expanding our spiritual horizons.

There comes a time when the past is best left in the past.  By keeping it alive, we sometimes tend to become complacent.  When we stay in one place too long, we run the risk of our lives and our spiritual insight becoming stagnant.  We all need to set our sights on expanding our vision and venturing onto the path that was chosen for us.  We need to set goals for ourselves – not only short leap goals – ones that are within reach, but also long term goals that we need to work to achieve.  The feelings of exhilaration when a goal is reached gives us the courage to explore what comes next.  Seeking God’s encouragement helps us as we strive to climb one step higher; keeping us feeling alive and vibrant.

It is so important to always have dreams and goals all the way through our lifetime.  Having these provides us with something to cling to; keeping our vision forward instead of looking back. It gives us encouragement to keep on keeping on.  Of course there will always be bumps but turning these over to God and allowing him to help makes dealing with them so much easier. God encourages us to listen and follow his lead so we may grow wings, like the dragonfly, and go on to new and wonderful heights.

Visioning can help us figure out where we want to be.  It can help us discern what needs to be done to get there and can bring our goals and dreams back into focus.  Try sitting in a quiet darkened room, closing your eyes to the shadows and peer into your innermost thoughts. It’s amazing what you can see when you can’t see anything.  Your focus becomes sharper when you’re not distracted by your surroundings.  The images, whether in pictures or words seem bright and clear. Allow yourself whatever time it takes to understand what you’re discovering.  Make it real. Courage. Write it down. Faith. Let it happen. Patience.

There always has to be at least one hitch though.  For me, it is the phrase that runs through my head all too often – ‘In God’s time, not mine’.  Those little words can be most annoying. They tend to be very hard to live with and often difficult to comprehend. Perhaps it helps to remember though, that when His time does come and He provides us with the insight and tenacity to find our wings, we experience great pleasure in our accomplishments while expressing wonder at the success.

Find your dreams. You know – the dreams we give up on because there’s no way – no how that’s ever going to happen? Never giving up on our dreams means we are dreaming with our eyes open to change. Having courage, living our faith and exercising patience will help us in our journey.  Take advantage of every little opportunity so that, like the dragonfly, you can reach your goals. Courage, faith, patience.

A little girl and her father were crossing a bridge.  The father was kind of scared so he asked his daughter, “Please hold my hand so you don’t fall into the river.” The little girl said, “No, Dad.  You hold my hand.” “What’s the difference?” asked the puzzled father. “There’s a big difference,” replied the girl.  “If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are I may let your hand go.  But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go.”

Allow God to grasp your hand; he will not let go.  If we can go to God with an open mind, He will guide us through the rocky times.  He will encourage us to take the opportunities that He graciously offers and help us to fly to new and exciting places.

Copyright © 2015 by Kay Baxter