Sometimes an unpleasant task turns into the perfect photo opportunity. Earlier this week I had promised my mom that I’d stop by and help her pick her strawberries. Now, this doesn’t seem like an unpleasant task, but a large amount of rain, humid weather, and unexpected circumstances turned an otherwise pleasant experience into something disgusting.
The strawberries were turning and they were turning fast. We completely gave up on one area and left the rotting berries to the birds. Later we wondered if they would be smart and pick out the few good strawberries or if they would eat the rotten ones too and fly around all sick and drunken, flying into windows and trees. I guess only time will tell… I hope they’re smart birds!
We did try to salvage the berries along the flowerbed next to the driveway. What happened next was a disgusting treasure hunt. We used clippers to cut off the rotten berries so we wouldn’t have to touch them. If we touched them they disintegrated into a pile of puffy mold.
Snip, snip… hold your breath… pick up the bunch of bad berries by the stem… toss in bucket… wait for puff of mold to settle… take a deep breath of fresh air. Repeat.
Yes, this was gross. It was probably also terrible for our health. But when we found those ruby-red strawberries perfectly ripened and ready to eat (after several good cleanings) it was almost worth it. But the thing that really made it worth it was about to be discovered.
We were about done with our distasteful task when we spotted it. Perched upon the bent stem of a bozo flower was a beautiful dragonfly. Yellow body, dark lines, buggy eyes, and smiling face, there it sat, fluttering its iridescent wings.
Mom insisted I take its picture, but I was busy using my shirt to dab up the sweat pouring off of me. I took a good look and moved a little closer. It didn’t move. Well, this is a good sign.
I didn’t have my camera with me, but I had stuck my cellphone in my back pocket. I pulled it out, quickly hit the button on the bottom twice to bring up the camera, and started snapping. When you photograph any insect or animal the trick is to take pictures right away where you are, and then keep taking pictures as you slowly move closer. This way, you’ll get the best shot you can before they fly, crawl, or run away.
This particular dragonfly didn’t seem to mind me one bit. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was posing for me. Friends, you’ll hardly believe this, but the lens of my cell phone was only an inch or two in front of this dragonfly, and it didn’t fly away. What a great day!
Suddenly I didn’t mind the smell of mold or the look of rotting strawberries. In fact, I was thankful for this disgusting job because without it I wouldn’t have been in the perfect position to capture this special moment in time with one of God’s beautiful creatures.
I find that life is often like my experience with the strawberries and the dragonfly. Bad things can happen to us, we go through hard times, and we have to do things that we don’t like to do and don’t want to do. We wonder why God has asked us to walk this difficult path, only to find great beauty along the trail. It’s along the narrow road, the paths less taken, where we find ourselves in the perfect position to experience beauty or receive a blessing that we would have otherwise missed.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” ~Matthew 7:13-14, ESV
If you have stepped through the narrow gate and have discovered that the way is hard, take heart. The path you are on is challenging, but it leads to life. You are one of the few and if you have eyes to see, you will find beauty along the way. Plus, the destination can’t be beat, so don’t turn back now! God, the Creator of the narrow way, hasn’t deserted you. He walks with you every step of the way, showing you which way you should step.
And that, my friends, is how I captured A Moment in Time. (Click to Tweet.)
Until next time,