I started out in life so carefree and happy. I was like a little butterfly with beautiful wings and a world of flowers to see. Life seemed wonderful as I looked to the future.
It didn’t take long and my views changed. I realized I had to perform to be accepted. Life seemed like a circus. There were hoops held out far into the future. If I jumped through the rings I received approval. If I didn’t—well—everybody else did.
Life became a performance. Leap through the rings; make the football team, or the cheerleading squad, or the honor roll. Go to the right college and get a degree. I did some things I wished I hadn’t, but everybody else did them—so—go on and hope to forget. Get a good job and make lots of money. At the right time get married, have the correct amount of children, buy a house—a nice big house, and a better car. I think I’m getting tired. Join a club—not any old club, but the right club—jump, jump, jump. Retirement, I have to think about retirement—buy stocks, sell stocks—hit some bumps, go, go, go.
And suddenly, I stand before the last hoop. But, it isn’t round, it=s rectangular, and it=s in the ground. The grass stops at the ragged edges. Here is where it all ends.
What happened to me anyway? Life wasn’t supposed to be this way. Where is the little butterfly with the beautiful wings? What happened to the flowers? Was I truly happy? What about my soul? Is this what it’s all about?
“God, what happened?”
“I’m glad you finally asked,” God said. “I will take you back and show you what went wrong and what your life could have been, if you would have chosen my way.
“When you were a child, I was with you. All children are in my care. (Matthew 19:13-14) Don’t you remember the little butterfly with the beautiful wings?”
My heart ached as I recalled those happy innocent days—gone, forever gone.
God continued, “The time came when you became responsible for your decisions. Do you remember that argument you had with your Mom? It made you feel terrible, but you wouldn’t admit that you were wrong. You chose to take your own way.
“I tried to stop you. Do you remember when your closest friend died? The lonesome feeling you had—that was me, talking to you. Deep in your heart you knew things weren’t right, but you were afraid to change. You were afraid of what your friends would think, so you ignored me, and drifted farther away from me.”
God’s voice grew sad. “Do you remember your years in college?”
“Oh! God, don’t remind me. I’m trying to forget those days,” I begged.
Gently, God said, “Forgetting doesn’t take care of the sin. (Ecclesiastes 12:14) I would have been glad to forgive you if you would have asked—but you never asked. (1 John 1:9) All those times you felt lonely and sad, that was me, calling you, but you didn’t listen. Do you remember when you landed that good job? The pay was terrific, but did it do for you what you thought it would? (1 Timothy 6:9) I tried to tell you that contentment comes only from me. For a while you did consider taking my way, but it seemed too hard so you followed your own way. Oh, if only you would have come to me, I would have given you what you were searching for—peace in your heart, peace in your home, and confidence about the future.” (Matthew 11:28)
God continued, “You were so busy. I tried talking to you on those cool beautiful evenings, but you didn’t hear. I tried to get your attention during the storms. I thought you might be listening, but you weren’t. If only you would have listened, I could have helped you solve those problems between you and your spouse. It would have prevented so many heartaches. (1 Peter 3:7)
“If you would have prayed and asked me for wisdom, I would have helped you to deal with your son. It could be so different now. (Proverbs 29:17) But no, you were too busy, too wise, too big a man to turn to me.”
As God turned away, He said, “You wasted your life on your own selfish whims, and now you are lost forever.” And then I felt myself slipping away from God, away—away.
Lost—forever lost! What does it mean? It means being away from God—forever—in a place of torment prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 13:41-42) But, you can change this. If you know things are not right with your life, admit it. Turn to God, repent of your sin, and surrender your will to Him. (Acts 2:37-38) God loves you, and wants to forgive you. (John 3:16) The price has already been paid. (Romans 5:8-11) Jesus died on the cross in your place. He paid the ransom so you could be saved. You can have peace and rest in your heart, and in the end—heaven. (John 14:1-3)
This is what it is all about.