Imagine this: it's about 10PM on a clear night in the country. The temperature is a mild 70 degrees with a tad too much humidity, but that's to be expected, you're in Iowa. There are about a zillion stars and a crescent moon hung in the sky. You're looking out over the cornfield, in the distance you can see the silhouette of the trees against brightness of the starry sky. And, everywhere you look you see the tiny flashes of fireflies, almost like a mirror of the sky, but more alive. Like living glitter on everything. And if you stand real still occasionally one will drop with it's light on, suspended in the air, easing itself downward, silently calling out for a mate just inches from where you stand.
Ahhhh! A summer moment to capture and hold onto, because you live in Colorado where it's too dry for fireflies. And your kids have only seen them a few times and never like this. What are you going to do?
I know! I know! Capturing moments... that's why you bought this really excellent DSLR camera. It can do anything!! You'll just put the shutter speed at 10 seconds or so and get a time exposure so you can see all the crazy little twinkles. Yes! That's the ticket. It'll be awesome! People will marvel at your photography skills!
So you drag out the tripod to the edge of the field, you get it all set up and aimed in the darkest spot where the fireflies are most visible, where it looks like the camera flashes at a rock concert from a mile away. Wait. The auto-focus won't work. There's not enough light to focus on anything. Change the setting to manual and move on. Take a shot, wait for the camera to process. Blackness. Nothing. Zoom in. Take another shot, wait. Blackness. Aim at the sky. Blackness. Check, yes, you have taken the lens cap off. Add more time to the shutter speed. Take another shot, wait. Blackness. Take the phone out of your pocket and turn on the video camera. Maybe you can record it live and see the twinkles, and relive the moment over and over. Again, blackness. Have your husband catch one and hold it between his fingers. Aim the camera at his hand. Take a shot, wait.
An amoeba shaped yellowish-green blob that doesn't remotely resemble a firefly, much less the magic and wonder of standing there watching them. Fail.
Put your camera away. Enjoy a few more moments before calling it a night.
Some things in this world were meant to cause us to wonder at the creativity and imagination of a God we cannot possibly fathom, and like a relationship with God, they cannot be captured and held and shown to others in an album.
No, some things were meant only to be experienced.