Simple Faith: Catching Lightning Bugs in a Mason Jar

There are a handful of activities in which most every American kid participates during their childhood—like, ride a bicycle, make a snow angel, or blow out their birthday candles to name a few. And I can’t imagine an adult living today who hasn’t at one time or another captured lightning bugs in a Mason jar. For my brothers and myself it was a summer sport that peaked in mid-July—vying to capture the most fireflies in order to create the brightest display of bioluminescence. 1Of course, then as even now, I have no idea what bioluminescence is except to say it is nothing short of miraculous. How a little flying beetle can produce such an intense yellow/green glow without an extension cord or batteries bathes me in childlike wonderment. I’m sure someone reading this article not only understands the biochemistry of it but could explain in such a way I might actually understand. But, if that’s you, please keep it to yourself. Don’t tell me how it happens. There are simply some things I enjoy not being able to understand.

This reminds me of my late mother who, though highly intelligent, simply refused to believe a radar-range (common title for the earliest microwaves) could make water boil without heating the container. She swore it was magic. Or, like that fateful evening in July of 1969 as we all watched Neil Armstrong step onto the moon’s surface she declared (and I’m sure she was absolutely serious), “I don’t believe it…it’s just not possible. They haven’t landed on the moon…they just think they have!” It’s as though, because she couldn’t get her head around it, it simply couldn’t be true.

This makes me think of another story about an unschooled migrant worker who sat down in the field for lunch one day and was flabbergasted to see his co-worker pour steaming hot soup from a strange looking bottle. “What is that thing? And how’d it heat up your soup like that?” His co-worker replied, “This…oh, this is a thermos bottle. It’ll keep hot things hot and cold things cold.” “Huh…,” muttered the unschooled man. “How do it know which one to do?”

Some things are simply beyond our ability to fully grasp.

I think it’s important to embrace the unknown in our lives. Our faith in God is based not on knowing everything about God, but rather simply trusting in Him. As a devout “do-it-yourselfer”, there are an increasing number of devices I use daily, the mechanics of which I have no clue. But because they are so convenient, I don’t care how they work…as long as they work. No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I won’t believe in my TV until someone explains to me how it all came about and exactly how it works.” Instead, we faithfully rely on it to entertain and inform.

I’ve found its better to dial back my questions about God and instead watch how He does what He does. I’d encourage you to experience the incredible peace and freedom shared by those who stop demanding answers and begin walking by faith. It’s the difference between me demanding God prove Himself to me verses His desire I honor Him.

The bible is unflinching regarding the importance of our faith. In the letter to the Hebrew Christians it says, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 The Message)

During these turbulent times, as our society gropes for answers, I hope you will in simple faith re-ignite your devotion to God Almighty. Renew your commitment to your local church family as you look to the only One who has all the answers. Be blessed, RG

 

Read Ron’s column, Simple Faith, each Saturday on the Faith Page (page 3) of the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, or visit www.lancastereaglegazette.com.