The Long-tailed or Tisza mayfly is the largest species of mayfly in Europe.
They received their name from the Tisza River of Hungary where they live. From the top of their heads to the tip of their tails these insects measure up to five inches long.
What most amazing about this species of mayfly is how short their lives are after reaching adulthood. They spend three years in a larval stage once they emerge from the muddy bottom of the river. Afterward, they have a mere three hours to swim to the surface, molt, mate, lay eggs, and die. Because of their incredibly short adult lives, they must stay synchronized in massive blooms to maximize the chances of a brief male-female encounter to ensure the next generation.
Every year, from late spring to early summer, wave after wave of these mayfly blooms emerge. Each day, from about 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM, thick clouds of humming mayflies rise from the surface of the river. The next two hours or so are filled with furious and frantic activity, as trillions of mayflies make a mad dash to fulfill their life’s mission. By nightfall, a thick layer of dead mayflies carpets the countryside. Snowplows must be sometimes used to clear the streets of them.
If you ever wonder why our lives cannot be lived more leisurely and enjoyably, just remember that time is very short for God to fulfill His mission in us during this life. Though God has created us to live forever, we only got 70 years or so down here for Him to prepare us for eternity in heaven. There’s an immense amount of work to be done in us. God’s got to take us from our selfish infancy stage and compress lightyears of labor into only a few. God’s only got a short lifetime to change us from demanding little babies into saints fit for heaven.
This is why trials and adversity must fly at us with the fury of a sand-blasting windstorm. So please cooperate with God. God never intended our lives for completing a bucket list of self-serving activities. The purpose of this life is to be trained, tested, purified and prepared for eternal life in heaven.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1–2).
Dear Father in heaven, please keep my eyes focused on eternity—beyond all the short-term and short-sighted goals of this fleeting existence. Help me to store up treasure in heaven by laboring in this life for You and my fellow human beings. Amen.