If you know me, you know I'm a driven, type-A guy... one to jump first and ask questions later. That being said, I've been told: "Confession is good for the soul." So here's my confession: Last week I saved a butterfly, but then I may have killed it. Why does this matter to you? Let me share the story.
I was coming back to my house, after an early morning breakfast meeting. It was probably 9:15am as I walked towards my front door when I discovered a butterfly fluttering hysterically. The butterfly had gotten stuck in a spider's web and was frantically trying to get unstuck. Meanwhile, the spider was sizing up the butterfly for what I can only image would be a mid-morning brunch on my front porch.
I'll have you know, audience out there, in that moment I manned up! Quite literally mumbling under my breath "Not on my watch" I marched up to that spider web and as carefully as I could rip the spider web that was holding the butterfly trapped. The butterfly weakly fluttered a couple feet to the ground, perched itself on a blade of grass, and as near as I could tell was resting while occasionally moving its wings. Assuming I was the hero, I went in my house enabled, empowered, even telling my wife of how I heroically swept in saving the butterfly.
Three hours later, somewhere around lunchtime I ran out the house to head off to meet with another client when I discovered: that butterfly hadn't moved in three hours. He still remained perched on the same blade of grass, but wasn't moving his wings much at this point. I knelt down and nudged the butterfly onto my hand for a closer look.
What I quickly discovered was the right wing had some remnants of spider web on it. By ripping the spider web a chunk of the web clunked up on the butterfly's wing. The added weight was too much from the Butterfly's muscles. He couldn't fly. I inserted myself into the situation again. Grasping his wing firmly, yet as fragile as possible, I pulled the spider web clump off his wing, hoping to not tear any infrastructure off his wing.
Once completed, I expected to see the butterfly fly away happily, free from the torment that had been the past three hours. He was free from the spider web shackles. Instead, he just sat there on the brick pavers in my yard. Honestly, I wasn't sure if he was dead or too tired to move... but I knew I was late for my business meeting, so I left him there. When I came back at the end of the day, the butterfly was not to be found.
Questions started to plague my mind. Did the butterfly make it? Did he fly away or get blown away? When I pulled the clump of web off his wing, was I not fragile enough? What if I was more gentle when I first saw the butterfly, saving him from becoming a snack for the spider... or, gasp, what if I was not supposed to intersect with these insects at all and let the butterfly fight his own way out or let the spider win?
There's some really interesting parallels to God's will here. Forgive me for overstating on the analogy...
There are times that I feel like the efforts I do are used by God to make a difference. How awesome is it that God used me to save that Butterfly.
But, let me be honest here... There have been times where I feel like I'm just working hard, where where my drive to do for the Kingdom overshadows what God wants in this situation. Did God want me to save the Butterfly? Or was the Butterfly supposed to be the Spider's breakfast.
If you're looking for finite answers answers here, you won't get it from this post, but Church I challenge you to seek scripture, to seek the Holy Spirit, as we seek God's will.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28