I have a confession to make. As a guy, it’s a difficult confession to make, but here it goes…one of my favorite movies is “Under the Tuscan Sun.” There’s just something about this movie that captivates me. (And it’s not just Diane Lane.) Maybe it’s because it’s a movie about disappointment and rebuilding. It’s a movie about life’s ability to deliver both discouragement and unexpected surprise. It’s a movie that reminds us that when you think the good stuff is over, it’s really just beginning.
Without giving too much of the movie away, Frances (played by Diane Lane) suffers a terrible set back and winds up moving to Tuscany. There she purchases a house that, like her life, is in disrepair. Through out the movie, Frances is trying to rebuild both her house and her life. Still, it seems like no matter how hard she tries, she keeps having set backs.
Finally, after feeling exhausted and stuck, she receives some advice from Katherine; an eccentric and flamboyant woman in the town. Katherine tells Frances this story…
“When I was a little girl, I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me.”
So Frances stops scrambling to get what she thinks she should have and starts pouring herself into what she does have. Things begin to turn around. There are still setbacks and disappointments, but little by little her life is enlarged and enriched in ways that are both unexpected and undetected. At the end of the movie, she comes to realize the ladybugs had found her.
How many of us have encountered set backs and discouragements from which we felt we would never recover? How many of us have sweat, scrambled, and worried about things we thought we should have, while all the time we were oblivious to all we did have? It’s so easy to focus on the few perceived gaps in our life, rather than marvel at all the gaps that have been filled. We’re so busy looking for ladybugs that we can’t see the ladybugs we have.
Perhaps we (like Frances) need to stop, take a deep breath, relax our grip on the things we don’t have, and make the most of what we do have. Sometimes, if you stop chasing ladybugs, they will come to you in unexpected ways.
What about you? Do you see the ladybugs?
Let’s look at this on another level…
Though the Scripture doesn’t talk about chasing ladybugs, it does speak to set backs and how to best get what you need.
Luke 6:38 tells us that giving rather than grasping is the best way to receive what we need.
And Matthew 6:33 points out that the things we need will take care of themselves if we seek God first.
No, it’s not Tuscany and ladybugs. It’s so much better!
Has there been a time in your life when you were struggling so much to attain something you were missing what you already had? If so, leave a comment and tell us about it.
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg