Mayflies

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Blog – 8-2-17

The Mayflies are thick in Yankton right now. The picture above is our boat this morning. As you can see, it’s covered by these pesky little creatures.

Mayflies are an interesting insect that have a very sad, but perfectly evolved existence. They live under the water in what’s called the nymph stage for a year, but they don’t do anything in this stage because they are still developing. Then their big day arrives when they get to head for the surface, for oxygen, life, freedom.

They finally reach the surface of the water and take that first breath of fresh air. Wow, this is great! This is what I’ve been waiting for. Then they quickly search for a mate, they lay their eggs if they’re a female, if they’re a male they go hang out on shore for a while, and then they die.

What? They die?

Yes, they die. Mayflies only live a day. One day. After all that preparation, they only live 24 short hours or less. Their sole purpose is to pass on their genes, and most never even bother eating. Say what?!

What was God thinking when he made annoying little mayflies, I ask myself? Why would He create something that barely survives 24 hours? Isn’t that a waste? What is a mayfly’s purpose, anyway?

I did some research, and I found out that they are actually a very important part of our environment. Because of their specific habitat requirements, mayflies are studied by aquatic ecologists as indicators of water quality. A lake that has lots of mayflies is a healthy lake. When you don’t have mayflies, your lake is usually in trouble.

Mayflies are also an important source of food for fish and birds.

This may sound random and unimportant to some of you reading this, but these facts sparked some deep thinking in me. Mayflies have a very short life, but their life is one filled with intense purpose. They are born, they mate, they die, and their species lives on. Very specific and very simple.

What if we could find that same sense of purpose in our lives? Is there a way for us to live with as much intention as a mayfly?

We are all created with a purpose, but the problem is our purpose is a lot more complicated than a mayfly’s. Each of us is unique and different, and most of us have to search and dig deep within ourselves to discover our individual purpose. It isn’t born into our DNA like it is a mayfly’s.

Or is it?

As I reflect on that, I believe our purpose is absolutely in our DNA. It’s how we are wired. It’s those things about ourselves that we can’t change, those ideas that won’t go away no matter how hard we try. It’s those stories we see on the news or people we pass by that stir something deep in our hearts.

Instead of fighting our dreams and telling ourselves they are a waste of time, maybe God is callling us to step into our gifting in a fresh, new way.

The truth is, we all have a purpose, and it’s up to us to find it.

“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers.”
Acts 13:36 (ESV)

The Bible called David a man after God’s heart, and I believe it’s because he knew his purpose and he lived it out. He wasn’t afraid to do the things God asked him to do even when they seemed impossible. How about those five stones and that giant? David didn’t hesitate a second. He knew what he was supposed to do and simply did it. That’s why I love David so much. He was clear about his purpose and who God called him to be.

Some of you reading this know your purpose and are living that out right now. Good for you! I applaud you!

Some of you reading this, frankly, have no idea what your purpose is, and that’s okay too. It’s never too late to figure it out. I would encourage you to take some time with God and ask Him to give you clarity about it. Dig deep. Talk to friends about it. Be open to possibility. Dream big! Make your heart ready for prompting by the Holy Spirit.

As a Life Coach, one of my favorite things I get to do with my clients is help them discover their purpose and start living it out. Sometimes it’s hiding deep down inside dreams they thought had died long ago, aspirations they gave up on, and careers they thought they could never have. It gives me incredible joy when they realize that with a little encouragement, some direction and some action steps, the dream God placed inside them can spring back to life.

And I can tell you firsthand, there is no greater joy than living out your purpose.

Mayflies don’t have any choice in their purpose. We do.

When you feel like you can’t follow your purpose because you’re too old, too young, too broke, too scared, too set in your ways, think about the mayfly. Their time on earth is indeed short, but they definitely make the most of it.

God is calling us to do the same!

Hugs and love,

Jill

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