The Efficient Firefly
“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.”
There are more than 200 species of fireflies around the world. Almost everyone has seen these small insects flying about or sitting in the grass. On dark summer nights they can be seen flashing their lights like ships far out at sea. As they flash, they are communicating very specific messages to one another.
The light created by fireflies is called cold light because it is produced without creating any heat. To make a flash, the firefly must make and mix a chemical called luciferin with oxygen and an enzyme called luciferase. This mixture is combined with a catalyst to create the flashes of light. The result is a method of producing light that is far more efficient than any source of light in your home. A relatively tiny amount of energy creates a generous amount of light.
Fireflies do not make light so they can read a book. Their flashes are used for finding a mate. Fireflies are able to read the light signals of other fireflies. These signals may contain several messages. Some flashes can tell a firefly whether the sender is one of his species. Light flashes are used to identify whether the sender is a male or female. If it’s a female, the flashes can identify whether she has already mated.
This is another example of the unlimited creativity and extravagance of our Creator God. The same beauty of the firefly that creates wonder in the child should also fill us with wonder at the limitless imagination of God.
Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Light of the world, and Your saving work for me is the light in my life. Help me better appreciate the beauty You have made. Then help my appreciation of that beauty be given words that are an effective witness to others. Amen.
Ref: Science Digest, August, 1978, Page 59.