Fireflies in December

Do you remember Clark Griswold? What is a favorite scene from the movie “Christmas Vacation?” Perhaps it’s the sledding scene, the squirrel in the Christmas tree, or Randy Quaid’s character saying “Good morning!” One of my favorite scenes is when Clark is trying desperately to get his Christmas lights to work.

We have a Christmas tree with lights in our front yard this year. It really is pretty. Some of the lights even blink in a cheerful way. They make me think of… summer when fireflies are dancing in the backyard!

They say the fireflies of late July and August died just days after mesmerizing us. But did you know, their lights didn’t die? Their eggs were planted in the earth. Underground, when tapped or bumped by a passing insect or mole, the eggs answer with a faint glow. Later in the Fall, they hatch from eggs. Miniscule, wormlike they have glowed the moment they emerged.

Right now in mid-December, if you were to stand next to my outdoor Christmas tree with its blinking lights, far beneath your feet, the fireflies are glowing still. They are equipped to eat and not be eaten. As they eat, they outgrow themselves repeatedly. They glow and grow, glow and grow. For almost a year, firefly larvae live this secret life, unseen and unlike the creatures they will be. By late Spring, each will have grown to half the length of a Christmas lightbulb on one YOUR trees.

When it senses it has grown fully, it will make a cave for itself, still glowing. It will have crawled through the dark earth for more than 300 days to be made ready for a transformation. A new creature, nothing like a worm, will push out of its cave and break ground and share its glow. I find this fascinating!

All the work you do for others and yourself, some of it feels underground, unseen. But this IS the work required for transformation! The work you do now is what makes your light shine later. Your light brings hope to others. Share your glow this holiday season!

This post inspired by Chapter 19 in the book All Creation Waits

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