we are luna moths

Early last week, I arrived at work and walked up to the outside door of my office building to see a large green moth that had perched itself on the glass.  Not thinking much about it, I walked inside and began my workday.  At lunch I left the office, to find it again on the outside door.  And again, as I left the office that day.  The next morning, it was back.  It was in a slightly different location on the door, but I was almost positive it was the same moth. This repeated over several more comings and goings.

The others in the office took notice.  A little discussion and a Wikipedia search later, I came to the conclusion that our little green friend was a luna moth. It is a pretty insect…and, as I quickly discovered, not a long-lived one.  This moth only has an adult lifespan of one week. It never eats in that phase; it has no mouth.  It lives only to mate. We wondered how long it had already been around, and whether we’d see it after the long Labor Day weekend.

I got to the office this morning, and sure enough, there it was. But you could tell it was in its final hours.  Its color was muted; its wings had begun to dry and crinkle like old paper. Still it clung to the door.

This evening, as we left for the day, one of my co-workers called out to me as I was walking to my car.  He picked up an almost-white husk from the ground, just a couple of paces from the door. Its torn wings and withered, lifeless body was the only evidence of what had been. He placed it back on the ground.

We like to think that there isn’t an end to all of this. Yet we see it all around us, and know…our lifespan is a flash compared to eternity. Psalm 90:10 reads in part, “our days may number seventy years, or eighty if our strength endures…but they quickly pass…” Improved medicine and living conditions haven’t changed those numbers all that much. We are mortal, whether we want to admit it or not. We are luna moths…only the temporal units have changed.  How do we spend what little time we have? I feel like I know the answer to that question most days, but some days I forget, or choose to forget, content to cling to the door, ignoring my purpose. Lord, help me.