Fireflies And Wonder


Driving home late last night, I noticed firefly lights in the fields beside the highway and was captivated by the sight of them whizzing past the passenger window.

It’s amazing how many of my happy memories are tied to fireflies and summer nights.

I remember catching them in the back yard. I’d run around armed with a glass jar with holes punched in the lid and a tuft of grass in the bottom. I believed that if I caught enough I could use the jar as a nightlight at bedtime.

I remember sitting at the campfire at my church camp. I would watch its embers rocket toward the treetops above me as firefly lights burned in the forest around me and over the edge of the lake.

After summer Vacation Bible School, my friends and I would play tag in the five-acre playground, lot, and wooded area in the back of the church property as fireflies floated all around us.

Have you ever stood at the edge of the woods on a humid June night and found yourself amazed at the thousand incandescent points of firefly light dancing in the darkness?

It’s an incredible sight, but completely unnecessary.

Have you ever thought about that?

It’s true! The only possible purpose for fireflies has to be to make us feel wonder. Why else would they exist? There’s probably an insect enthusiast who would tell me that their function is to spread pollen between plants or to feed bats. But, surely they could have accomplished their purpose without illuminated rear ends.

Fireflies and wonder. There’s no other possibility.

Driving home last night, I was impressed by the fact that I worship an utterly benevolent, loving Creator. He didn’t have to give fireflies their lights. They’re completely unnecessary. They could have been just another species of insect simply doing their thing. But, I think God knew there would be a little boy who would gather them in a jar, watch them dance at church camp, admire them while playing tag with his friends, and experience the type of awe and wonder that would well up into worship as a grown man.

God is just that good.

What about you?

What seemingly simple or unnecessary bit of creation makes you experience wonder? Have you told God how grateful you are?

One thought on “Fireflies And Wonder

  1. It must be a “getting old” thing. (Although I’m much older than you.) I’ve found myself completely captivated by them this summer. I’ve said aloud “how can anyone look out at a field full of fireflies and NOT believe in God?”

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