This originally appeared as part of the Daily Sip, a website from the Rev Charles LaFond, an Episcopal Priest who raises money for the homeless and lives on a horse farm in New Mexico with his dog Kai. offering daily meditations and reflections
This is a hummingbird moth. I snapped his picture as he floated around the flowers of this New Mexico farm I call home, impersonating a hummingbird in sight and sound. They are an insect – a moth. They unfurl their long tongue to drink the last nectar of the flowers before winter sets in.
They remind me of how many different plants and animals impersonate others. Insects look like leaves. Insects look like birds. Caterpillars look like twigs. Butterflies look like bark. The animal kingdom is full to the bring with life-strategies of camouflage. They look like that which they live among and within.
We humans tend to look like what we ingest. Not physically exactly, but spiritually, relationally, existentially. Scriptures say that the eyes are the light of the soul. What we look at matters. We can so easily become it.
Physically, we now have medical science to tell us that “we are what we eat.” But I believe that spiritually, “we are what we adore.”
It is late October, and soon we will all be inundated with a kind of materialism-pornography (misused images) of the store catalogues which pile up beside our reading chairs and in the kitchen mail pile. They are there to sell us things. They are, in short, eye-candy. And with a touch of a smart phone, we can make a dozen purchases before we even finish our cheerios. Turn on the TV and you will be inundated with commercials. Go to the mall and you will be surrounded by glass displays in a dizzying array of longing-pushers.
Now is the time to consider our Rule of Life around possessions. Now. Long before the Christmas season rises to its materialistic crescendo.
What does it mean to be in the world and not of the world? It means to be in the noise, but not distracted by the noise. We, like the hummingbird moth, will take on the colors and shapes which set us in our environment. Holding fast to our Rule of Life about purchases and possessions will keep us safe from the insanity of our culture’s credit/possessions disaster. And we will look more like Jesus and less like the people in those catalogues. Bummer, I know. But better, I am sure.
Our natural habitat is not homes piled with possessions. Our natural habitat is God.