I love when little kids call butterflies – flutterbys. I love butterflies. I am in heaven right now as we are in a butterfly migration where I live. About 1 billion Painted Ladies (a species of butterfly) are flying from Mexico to Oregon. They are passing through many areas in Southern California. It’s beautiful. It’s also stunning to see. I can’t be outside without counting at least 30 butterflies. I was walking the dog yesterday and every few steps 3 or 4 passed by.
I was curious on this phenomenon so I did a bit of research. Because of the rains, the plants stayed green and gave the butterflies a home and food source so more lived this year. Also, an adult butterfly typically only lives a couple of weeks. Their flight north is typically made up of multiple generations, with a butterfly going a certain distance, then laying eggs. Its brood will hatch and continue north.
Wow! The butterflies don’t even make it all the way to their destination. The next, or next-next, generation does it for them. It reminded me of the plight of Moses and the Israelites in the desert. They didn’t make it to the promised land. The next generation did. Once the original generation died out, God allowed the next generation to enter. This wasn’t due to a short life span but instead because of their sin. They were a grumbling people who kept turning to idols and complaining about their circumstances. He got fed up and the consequence was that the current generation wouldn’t see the promised land.
The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.
~ Numbers 14:20-23 NIV
However, the kids get to live in the promised land. They get the fruit of the long journey in the wilderness. Same is true for the butterflies. The journey may have been started by the grandma butterfly but the great grand-daughter is the one who lands in Oregon. Isn’t that our hope too? The next generation gets it even better than us. We have it pretty good but we want even better for our kids and grandkids. This happened for the Israelites. This happens for the butterflies. How can we make it happen for our kids?
It isn’t from us being perfect. It is from staying true to the right path – God. The butterflies stay on a path from Mexico to Oregon. At some point, grandma butterfly lays some eggs and lives out her life in that spot. The babies emerge from the cocoon and journey onward. That momma butterfly lays some eggs and lives out her life in that location. Those babies make it onto Oregon.
Stay on the path. Keep seeking Him. Make a better future for your children and grandchildren. Celebrate them picking up the baton and continuing the journey. And while you are journeying, make sure to look around and enjoy the butterflies flying by.
Dream Big! Pray Big!