You've heard the legends of intrepid explorers, undertaking valiant expeditions into the darkest Amazon. Great White Hunters swept up into primitive safaris in exotic locales. As thrilling as all of these death-defying deeds are, they pall in comparison to the danger and derring-do of Big Dragonfly Hunting.
I can’t recall how it actually started, but somewhere in the deep, sweltering days of our youth, my sister and I invented the brilliant sport of hunting down the giant, colorful dragonflies that whizzed about in the heat of a summer afternoon. It’s pretty quiet down on the farm in the holidays of July and August; life’s biggest amusements being avoiding Mom trying to give you chores, pillaging the garden or portaging through the undergrowth of an unexplored shelterbelt. Eventually, these adventures stale.
It’s impossible not to become enthralled by these beautiful, elusive Aeshna canadensis sparkling in the sun and zipping rapidly through the air. One glimpse of their brilliant iridescence, graceful, elongated form and shimmering wings and the game was on! What could be better than actually catching one? All we needed was a net crafted of old hat veiling and the adventures of a life-time were at hand.
I can’t tell you how many hours my sister and I spent stalking through the trees, sprinting through the burning hot summer fallow, tangling with thistles, nettles, caragana branches and other sharp and unwieldy obstacles. We were tough as nails; the bottoms of our bare feet like Rhino hide. It was nothing to climb out on a perilous limb, take a few scrapes, falls or insect bites.
Dragonflies are instinctually smart and stealthy: a fierce and worthy prey. They’re diabolically fast and seem to sense you coming from any direction. They’ll float down, deliberately, tantalizingly close, only to soar back out of reach. It’s tempting, but don’t make the mistake of grabbing them by the tail, because, like a scorpion, they will instantly contract. (Anybody who tells you that dragonflies don’t have teeth is a liar). I got chomped really good a couple of times. Besides which, we didn’t want to hurt them, we just wanted to hold them for the triumph of close examination. Truth to tell, we didn’t catch many, but we got pretty close. To this day, Big Dragonfly Hunting is one of our fondest shared memories. A fabulous sterling silver brooch from my sister commemorates our exploits.
My mind equates the dragonfly to the mysterious pursuit of many difficult and evasive desires in life. So many elements of our existence here on earth are breath-taking, precious, enigmatic and terribly elusive. We know they exist; rare sightings of their wanton gorgeousness are occasionally had, but trying to possess them is another matter entirely. Just because you have a net in your hand doesn’t guarantee success. Often, the benefaction that comes so easily to one person eludes another entirely, no matter how intensely they crave it or how long they chase it. We can’t get no satisfaction. Like the maddening insect, it is always just out of grasp.
Dragonfly desires, dreams and prayers. These come from the realm of the Spirit. They are intangibles; prismatic and lustrously supernatural. But the Lord tells us emphatically to pursue them.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-14
Lately, I’ve been sending out a raft of prospectus to publishing houses and literary agents, hunting for the means to get the manuscripts the Lord has given me, published. Once again, I feel myself tracking impossibility. I’m chasing the sound of His voice through the wilderness. Sadly, I’m finding that I don’t have the stamina I once did. The net of my hope is not strong.
The other day I was sitting blissfully quiet on the patio, nearly asleep, taking in the heat of the sun on my skin, the gentleness of the breeze a pleasant sensation. Suddenly, I felt something on my shoulder. I opened my eyes to see a big blue dragonfly perched there, waiting. Joy flooded me. The unattainable happened. When we least expect it, our dreams come to us.
And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45
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