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Posts Tagged ‘moths’

The Sparrow and the Moth

A movement caught my eye as I stood in my son’s kitchen. A female house sparrow hopped frantically up and down the screen of the sliding glass door, pecking madly. What on earth was she doing? Looking more closely, I saw a moth trapped between the glass and the screen. It fluttered about in the cramped space, managing to evade the sparrow so intent upon capturing it. The sparrow grew increasingly frenetic, her wings beating against the screen as she tried to find footholds and keep up with the elusive insect. After a minute or two, a male house sparrow—the mate, no doubt—joined her. The two of them jumped about crazily on the screen. Still the moth escaped them. Finally, the birds gave up and flew off across the garden in search of an easier meal.

I’ve felt like that little sparrow at times, frantically trying to reach some goal that seemed just beyond my reach, working so hard I barely had time to catch my breath. So close and yet… The sparrows gave up. It was, after all, just a moth. Among the gardens in the neighborhood, there would be plenty of other insects and seeds to feed them; this one moth was not worth the effort. And that should be my question when I find myself caught up in the mad pursuit of some dream or objective: is it worth it? Sometimes I will agree with the sparrows: this objective is not worth the price I have to pay, or perhaps the chance of obtaining it is too remote to bother. Other times, I may disagree. The goal may be so important that I know I must pursue it with everything I have to give, and that, even if I fail, it will have been worth the effort. And how do I answer that question? For me, it can only be through much thought and much more prayer.

As for that trapped moth, we set it free, hoping that it would not go out to feast on anyone’s vegetable garden. Whether it ever met up with those sparrows again is a question I cannot answer.

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