ODJ: eyes for fireflies

August 16, 2014 

READ: Matthew 18:1-6 

Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven (v.3).

At just 5 and 7 years old, Liam and Elias eagerly awaited darkness and a fireworks display. Dancing with anticipation in a meadow, they pacified their impatience by marvelling at the pyrotechnic sideshows of fellow holiday celebrants. Cherry bombs, sparklers, Roman candles and fireworks of dubious legality violated the dusk. 

But as a cooling evening curtain descended on the long summer’s day, a quieter distraction soon seized their attention—hundreds of fireflies materialised to punctuate the night. Soon our two pint-size nature lovers were wading in the July grass, joyfully chasing God’s incandescent insects.

When the fireworks finally started, Liam and Elias turned their gaze skyward. Soon, however, they lost interest in the explosive display overhead and turned again to the natural light show suspended tantalisingly near their reach. Nature had trumped civilisation’s noisome flash. 

Ah, the eyes of a child! They often see things we miss.

“The world is too much with us,” wrote Wordsworth. “Little we see in Nature that is ours; we have given our hearts away.” The poet’s conclusion infringes on the pantheistic (“I’d rather be a Pagan suckled in a creed outworn”), but his premise rings true: We ignore God’s creation at the impoverishment of our souls.

When Jesus wanted to give His followers spiritual 
vision, He turned to a child. His disciples had asked a childish question: “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” (Matthew 18:1). Jesus pointed them to childlike faith: “Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (v.3).

May we have eyes not only for God’s nature but also for nature’s God.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan› Luke 16:1-18

Read Proverbs 30:24-31 to see how Agur observed nature and marvelled at it. 
What has caused you to be too busy to enjoy God’s creation? How will you make time to listen to Him in the quiet this week?