Last weekend, I was at my favorite place in the entire world-Subiaco. Subiaco is a retreat house in Oxford, MI that our Youth Group goes to once a year. Activities include but are not limited to, finding God, finding yourself, finding friends, finding a purpose etc. etc.
As is tradition, on the last night at around midnight, the lights are turned off and a candle is passed around. When the candle gets to you, you are supposed to give a reflection of what you learned that weekend. This is my 3rd year and the first two years I was there, I came up with elaborate metaphors. This year was no different. When I got the chance to speak, I said something like this…
“For those of you who have been here before, you know I tend to take this time to create and share a metaphor. I’d like to talk to you today about ladybugs. I want to compare these ladybugs to a few people I’ve met at Subiaco this year. While we had that large group meditation Friday, all I could focus on was the people who were whispering and giggling and moving around and making it inconvenient for everyone. When we had to write our reflection afterwards, all I wrote about was those jerks who I wish would just go away.
Then as I was writing, I saw a few dead ladybugs all along the windowsill. As I was staring at this one particular ladybug that was closest to me, all I could think about was ‘How inconvenient.’ ‘Why is he even here, I wish he was gone.’ Exactly what I was thinking about those kids who were distrupting everyone. And as I looked at this dead ladybug, looking like it had no hope, just laying there on its back, I saw it’s leg move. I kept watching it and it went back and forth from moving, to still. To moving, to still.
This weekend, I got to meet some of those kids who annoyed me the first night. As the day progressed, I started to see signs of life. It was very small at times, but sometimes I’d catch a glimpse of their spirit and see greatness in them. Then I started realizing, ‘This is what Jesus was talking about when he told us to love our enemies.’ It’s easy to just view the ‘ladybugs’ as inconvenient and worthless. But then again, those are the ones who need your help the most. They are still creations of God. Even if they look dead and they’re on their back with their legs up, I challenge you to try to take the time to flip them over. And maybe you’ll see signs of life.”