A net for flutterbys

“Life’s too short” is a phrase often used to begin arguments for seizing some opportunity or another. I know, I’ve used this well-worn phrase myself on numerous occasions. The most curious thing to me is how often opportunities flutter past me un-seized. It isn’t until the moment is well beyond my grasp that I notice how beautiful it would have been in my collection of life experiences. Each time this happens, I promise myself that I’ll catch the next one as I set my gaze firmly on all the things that could have been—this myopic perspective setting me up to miss another dozen or so opportunities most efficiently.

Recently, I rustled the neat and stagnant rhythm of my life only to be surrounded by many new choices. At the end of each choice I could see exciting and frightening new directions for my life. Some of the opportunities, while beautiful and enticing were impractical for my current role as a husband and father. Others, however, danced ahead of me in tempting circles of reason. There were so many choices, so many directions to explore that I ran the risk of losing them all in the paralysis of indecision.

So I prayed.

Yeah, I side-stepped the casual ‘Fiddler on the Roof’-style conversations I prefer to have with God and chose, instead, to engage in the formal act of prayer. I suppose the desire to pray came from a need for some sort of ‘scrapbook’ marker in time—that moment I would point to from the future and say, “this was when my life changed.”

I learned something interesting about the ‘flutterbys’ known as opportunities: they’re not nearly as rare as you might think. In fact, the only reason they seem to be isolated moments is a result of how intently we focus on the few we notice. I was so wrapped up in studying all the options on the horizon that I wasn’t paying any attention to the choice which landed softly on my shoulder. It was during my formal and fervent prayer for guidance that a gentle voice spoke to me . . .

Startled by the simplicity of the suggestion, I reevaluated my situation. I had been squinting to focus on the distant future so intensely that it was difficult to see at first. There before me was the very thing I’d been chasing in various projects, locations and other distractions—a sense of purpose. I’ve since grabbed onto this new direction for my life with both hands. It is still uncertain whether or not I’m holding this new flutterby too tightly but that’s a subject for another time.

For now, I’m trying to keep my mind open to all possibilities. Near and far, it seems the world around me is wholly composed of opportunities simply waiting to be noticed. What did that gentle voice whisper to me during my formal and fervent prayer for guidance?

“Open your eyes.”

Comments

  1. Nabs, you write sooo well. It's like...a bit of perfection.

    I love this one.

    Dawn

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