My family usually makes a trek to the Central Coast of California at least once every couple of years. Truly, it is my favorite place to visit in California with the June Lake/Mono Lake area running a close second place. For me, it is like stepping out of the world—a slower pace, more open space, a more clear vision of Him and His creation—to regain focus on what is truly important. A breathe of fresh air literally and spiritually.
|Amtrak Coast Starlight|
There is a very special place in that coastal area in Pismo Beach where the Monarch butterflies migrate every winter. They spend the warmer months up in Canada and parts of the northern states but find wintering in the warmer climates of Southern California and Mexico much nicer. Much like the migration of geese or ‘snowbirds’ as we affectionately call migrating/vacationing seniors. The butterflies, however, have a beautiful aspect added to their migration habits. They love to cling together in clusters on eucalyptus trees in October and November!
|A Monarch Butterfly|
|Clusters of Monarch Butterflies|
We were made to cluster. We were made for community. Families, friends, churches, neighborhoods. Yet, in our flesh, we want to ‘go it alone.’ We become exclusive rather inclusive—cliques, social circles, clubs—with standards, seen or unseen, that shut people out. We feel more comfortable with people who see things pretty much the way we do. We focus on differences rather than similarities or the wants of the few rather than needs of the many. We focus upon what divides us rather than what unites us. Not by God’s design.
Good things happen in huddles, clusters, and community. People form bonds, make plans, accomplish amazing things and share life experiences together, win or lose.
Just think how wonderful it would be if we were to cluster together, to reach out continually to one another, to share with one another, to care for one another! To be inclusive. To truly be in this world but not of this world. Our emotional and spiritual tanks would be full rather than empty. What if we were to appreciate our differences, learn from them and grow together? Make friends rather than enemies. Agree to disagree without anger. We could shine our light upon others, bringing them into community to experience warmth, friendship, intimacy, transparency, love and security without feeling vulnerable. We could spread our wings and fly returning to our community to recharge our batteries and fly again. We would bless and be blessed. We would not be wanting. By His design.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. Acts 2:42
So much more to learn (than science) from this delicate creature that God has created. So beautiful. So much like our Savior…. Let us reach out to others, as He did, to include rather than exclude, to embrace rather than disgrace, to accept rather than reject. He came and He died for us ALL!