The Butterfly of Happiness

As many of you may remember last summer was a very busy one for me. So many things happened, and I have wanted to blog about them for some time, but with my hectic fall schedule I never found time. Now that I am one grant proposal away from finishing this semester I thought I would share a story with you from July.
One of my favorite things about attending BYU were the Tuesday devotionals. If I did not haul my butt up to the Marriott Center I would faithfully watch the broadcast in the JSB. One devotional topic that has remained with me is the allegory of "the butterfly of happiness." The speaker likened happiness in life to a butterfly. Many people when they see a butterlfy try to capture it. People approach happiness in the same manner. Many people chase after things they believe will make them happy, i.e., boyfriends/girlfriends, marriage, education, success, etc. They become so focused on obtaining their "butterfly" they loose sight of the important things. There priorities are no longer what they should be. The speaker counseled his audience to be diligent in those things the Lord had commanded them, and then wait patiently for the butterfly of happiness to land on you. When the moment is right it will happen. The Lord will bless you in His own due time.
When I ride the metro home in the evenings I usually sit in the first train car. However, one July afternoon I chose to sit in a car that was further back. Exiting the car I noticed this beautiful butterfly lying in the middle of the platform. A child pointed the butterfly out to his mother as they walked past. The mother didn't stop even though the kid was obviously concerned. Knowing if the butterfly was not moved it would suffer further injury I scooped him up into my hands and then carried him home.
Exiting the metro station I passed the boy and his mother. The mother said she was relieved I was taking him home because her son had wanted to go back for the butterfly. I showed her the charm on my necklace and told her I had a soft spot for butterflies.
I honestly did not think the butterfly would stay in my hands on the way home but to my delight, he/she did. (I don't know how to determine the sex of a butterfly. My luck it was a female.) Anyway, I brought the butterfly inside and laid it on my kitchen counter for awhile. Thinking it would probably prefer to die in a natural setting I laid it in my flowerbed, checking on it periodically throughout the evening.
The butterfly was not my only guest that evening. A huge preying mantis hung out on the exterior wall of my apartment all afternoon. Each time I opened the door he was there staring at me with his/her wee beedy eyes. (Don't know how to determine the sex of a preying mantis either) Actually I thought he/she was kinda cool so I included a photo.
The point of the story is my butterfly died that evening. The butterfly of happiness, the ship I thought had finally come in, a symbol of great times ahead, died. What does that say about my happiness? How should I interpret that? Should I dismiss it as coincidence? Should I just be grateful for the time I spent with the butterfly? I don't know. I am open to thoughts or suggestions. How would you interpret the death of my butterfly? Or do you think the speaker's allegory is even relevant? I would like to think is somewhat substantial. I mean, I remembered it. Perhaps this won't be the last butterfly to cross my path. Who knows? I just wanted to share something that means something to me with you. As the new year approaches here's hoping each of us encounter our butterflies of happiness.

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