500+ for 50 – day 11: the dragonfly
Back at the beginning of June, I decided to make a committed effort to getting my life back on track. Although on the surface it may not have appeared that I had ventured too far off course, I knew inside of my heart that I was not a living representation of the person that I wanted to be. I understood that many of my recent decisions had been based upon my fears and my own selfish needs rather than on what God had intended for my life. And that left me feeling very conflicted inside. I wanted to restore my closeness with Him. I wanted to hear His calling again. But I wasn’t sure quite where to begin. So I started with something that has always served well when I’ve needed to clear my head. I went for a run.
And on that run, I struggled at times to breathe as effectively as I had when I was better conditioned. I could sense the toxic nature of my conflicted soul clouding my lungs as I reached deep for more air. And as I turned around the bend on the second half of my course, I reached my hands up to the sky and begged for God to give me a second chance. I pleaded with Him, committing to make every effort to get it right this time around. And thanks to His intervention, I finished that day’s trek without stopping to rest. My heart raced in my chest and my head swelled with anxiety as I attempted to recover, but in spite of my physical discomfort, I knew something special was about to begin in my life. Day 1 of my journey back was now complete.
A couple of days later while on another run I encountered a dragonfly out on the trail ahead of me. I remember feeling really inspired by its appearance. I knew in my heart that it was the symbol of something meaningful for me. I watched it dance around in the air before me as I strolled by and I smiled, knowing that God had blessed me with its presence for a very specific reason. And as I sped off out ahead on the trail, I found that my legs suddenly felt lighter and my mind far more at ease. Was it the dragonfly? My heart raced with anticipation of the symbolism that I might find behind its presence.
Later that evening, I pulled out my phone and did a bit searching on Google in an effort to pinpoint the symbolic meaning of the dragonfly. While different cultures around the globe have their own distinct views, the general accepted consensus is that the dragonfly is symbolic of transformation. It symbolizes change, lightheartedness, and the invitation to explore the intricacies of one’s own being on the road to exposing illusions and developing authenticity. Its presence is thought to call individuals to personal growth through joyful examination of their emotions and the expression of their true selves. Is that why I felt such freedom in its presence? Was the dragonfly symbolic of my own personal journey and transformation?
Whatever the meaning, I’ve probably encountered more dragonflies dancing in the sky around me during the last two months than I have in total over the course of my entire lifetime. I see them very frequently on my runs along the trails in our community. And this weekend while on a little staycation with my girlfriend, I had a dragonfly dart directly towards my head while I was in the pool at our hotel relaxing. I had to duck under the water to avoid it. Even today, as I contemplated writing this very blog, I saw a dragonfly dancing outside the window of our condo, and then later while on my way to take out the recycling, I encountered yet another. Coincidence? No, there are no coincidences in life.
So what is to be taken from the presence of this mystical little insect in my life? The symbolic meanings attached to the dragonfly sure do serve to effectively describe the transformation that’s been taking place in me in over the course of the last two months. And I’ve felt the hope and joy attached to their presence whenever they’ve appeared. I don’t believe that anything shows up in our lives without having a reason for being there. So my conclusion is that God placed them in my life as a reminder to me that something special is happening and that He is present in my restoration, every step of the way. Perhaps they are His way of communicating to me that I am on the right path and that I should remain lighthearted about the process and trust in His plan. One thing I am certain of is that I need his guidance, and He understands that very well.
Dragonflies come all in sorts of shapes and sizes. Your dragonfly may not be a dragonfly at all. It could be the presence of smiling children, or the gift of laughter. Or maybe it’s the sun setting on the horizon? God speaks to us all in different ways. And we really need not seek a confirmation from Google with regards to the symbolism behind what inspires meaning in our lives. I’m reminded of a quote by Albert Einstein that states “There are two ways to live, one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” Our perception determines the reality. God is surrounding us with miracles every day. We just need to be open to seeing them. Imagine how many dragonflies I missed over the last 31 years of my life…it’s not that they weren’t there, it’s simply that I was too blind to see them.
When you’re living an illusion, you miss out all the beauty that our Creator has to offer. Like the dragonfly, from this day forward I hope to dance through life with joy in my heart and authenticity at the forefront of all that I do, because I want to be open to capturing God’s miracles that surround me…they are absolutely everywhere.
May God Bless!