the caterpillar and the butterfly.

we all know the familiar story. it’s a simple one, we see it every year.
bitty little caterpillars show up suddenly one day and then a week later you see them again and they’ve tripled in size.
it’s nothing too crazy to pay much mind to, it’s just a simple worm right?
wrong.
it’s a caterpillar.
a caterpillar is a worm with a purpose.
it births, it eats, it grows, it moves and it grows some more.
it knows more life in the short time it lives it’s wormy existence than most insects do.

i mean, i think it would be pretty great to live as a caterpillar.
feeding on whatever you desire (of course ultimately knowing which foods are to eat and which are to avoid)
living itself would be pretty care-free: climbing on things, eating, soaking up the sun and eating some more…
however there is the real danger that a bird could snip you in half at any moment.
but… i don’t think caterpillars live thinking like that.
they’re designed to have one goal in mind.

the cocoon.

all of their lives, this is what they hope to aspire to, this is what their purpose of living is FOR…to surround themselves with this cocoon material and lose all shape, become completely unrecognizable.  i know i’ve seen broken cocoons before (a. because i was a curious child and b. because i had brothers growing up) and to be honest, my first goal in opening the cocoon that i did destroy was simple out of eagerness to see the caterpillar again…except i knew what was coming for it and i wanted to see it changing.  unfortunately, for the said critter… the cocoon exists for protection for a reason.  once in the cocoon, as caterpillars go through the change, they lose shape completely and look like goo.  at first my dismay was only shown by the disgust on my face. “GROSS.” i announced to my younger sister. “i think it died.”

that’s just it.
the caterpillar DID die.
but it was still very much alive.
it was just changing form, growing into something different.
something better.
something that was designed to be greater for that caterpillar all along.
he just had no idea what it would look like.

“And just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly.”

that’s how it is with how God changes us.
i can say this right now because i am in that cocoon, i have become a disgusting unrecognizable blob.
i don’t even know me anymore.  at times it’s been completely painful, many pieces of who i once was have
been stripped away and are left stuck to my shell, forming my cocoon.  a lot of times i’ve hated it. i haven’t
understood why it’s had to hurt so bad and therefore i’ve gotten angry with the way it feels, momentarily forgetting
that i’m just living in the moment and there is a bigger picture.  a lot of times i’ve felt very lost, not knowing
what to do or who to be or how to be, it’s those moments i cling to the bits of myself that i do still know: my name,
my story, i ground myself.
It’s easy to forget what comes next.
It’s easy to look at what is currently happening and believe the half truth “this is it, i’m just dead.”
It’s VERY easy for discouragement to settle in when you’re looking at how things are in the moment and not maintaining proper vision.

but we all know what happens to that caterpillar.
we know that that small blob of goo isn’t finished yet.

he’s only forming his wings. 

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