I enjoy their fast-flying, insect acrobatics. They hover around the yard and zip past the car while stopped at a light. They circle our turtle pond on air stair-steps and gracefully land on the bush outside our kitchen window, wings still for scarce moments.
Then they’re off again.
Dragonflies are nature’s tiny helicopters, zig-zagging over green grass and hovering effortlessly in mid-air. They’re brightly colored beacons of warmer weather. I’ve seen red, blue, green and multi-colored dragonflies in our backyard and neighborhood.
Being the mom of two boys has softened me to the insect world, and dragonflies are one of my favorites (it helps that they don’t bite, sting, or buzz in my ear!).
Here’s a little more info about dragonflies:
A dragonfly is an insect with large multifaceted (compound) eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body. Dragonflies are some of the fastest insects in the world, and they’re valuable predators that eat mosquitoes and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, and rarely butterflies. They’re usually found around lakes, ponds, and wetlands because their larvae, known as nymphs, are aquatic.
As I read about dragonflies, I pictured their large, shiny eyes. Compound eyes. Have you ever tried to get very close – or touch – a dragonfly? Cole and Chase have tried many times. It’s nearly impossible unless the dragonfly has a broken wing or it’s lifeless and jammed in the car headlight.
Why is it so difficult to touch and catch them? It’s those amazing compound eyes.
Dragonflies have one of the most elaborate eyes of any insect. Their compound eyes can pinpoint the motion of prey several meters away, even while the dragonfly is traveling fast. Their eyes have hundreds of thousands of tiny lens-capped optical units, called ommatidia. Each ommatidium has its own cornea and lens for brightness and color, and they’re packed side by side into bulges that create a wide field of view. Dragonflies don’t see detail because compound eyes provide poor resolution. But their compound eyes create a large angle of view that’s perfect for detecting any movement around the insect.
The multifaceted eyes of the dragonfly can’t focus on the myriad details in nature, but they can focus perfectly on movement. Their compound eyes zone in on the slow sweep of a mosquito or a loudly buzzing fly. A large angle of view warns them of danger in the shape of a swinging Little Tykes bat or a hungry Mockingbird.
But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord; In You I take refuge; Do not leave my soul destitute. ~ Psalm 141:8
Are my eyes on God and His movement? At times I focus my eyes on minute details instead of God’s steady, faithful movement in my life. When my eyes drop away from God my field of view narrows down and the daily, frantic flying about consumes me. Details overwhelm. I begin to lose trust because I’m staring at the wrong thing, and I put myself in spiritual danger.
Lord, help me bring my eyes back to You so I can focus on You and Your perfect, faithful movement.
When we focus on endless, trivial details we lose sight of the bigger picture of our faith – the amazing, grace-filled way God moves in our circumstances. We begin overlooking His faithful provision, the sweet encouragement He offers through friends and family, and His many blessings.
We need dragonfly eyes for God. Because when our eyes are focused on God and His faithful movement in our life, we can fly fully for Him.