In a community of caterpillars, everybody were living their lives as usual. They were doing what caterpillars do from day-to-day. One day a few of them came together and one of them began to vent about how tiring it was doing the same old, same old. Then the others surprisingly joined in because they were feeling the same way, but they never said anything until now. Here is how the conversation went:
Caterpillar 1: Guys I have been living here for years and nothing has changed. I would love to move away in hopes of finding a better job and meet new people. You guys know Sharon. She moved away a couple of years ago and she is doing really well. She seems a lot happier.
Caterpillar 2: I know what you mean. My cousin just opened a food-chain across town. She wanted to do it years ago but her family didn’t think it was a good idea, but she finally went for it and her business is doing great. She is an inspiration to me because despite the lack of support, she went for it.
Caterpillar 3: ( largest of the group): I have had it guys. You all know I have been overweight most of my life. I have got to lose some of this weight. It would be so much easier, if I had someone to exercise with me, but no one wants to do anything. My family doesn’t want to change their diet and I just don’t know what I can do. Have you all seen Dottie lately, she look wonderful? She has lost a lot of weight. I just don’t know how I am going to do it.
Caterpillar 4: I just don’t understand when will these people get it. It gets frustrating but I will just hang in there. Things will change soon.
Caterpillar 5: (voice of wisdom): Guys, are we listening to ourselves? We all have been given the same ability. We were formed the same way. We are sitting here dreaming about where we want to be and we know it’s possible because we’ve seen it done. Guys if we want to change, we have to be willing to make changes; change starts with us. My grandpa always told us, “change requires change.” I was younger, when I heard it first and I didn’t understand it then. He also told us, “Change may be uncomfortable. We may have to go it alone. Others probably won’t agree and sometimes we may even have to move out of our surroundings.” Guys it makes sense now! Everything my grandpa said applies to us, so what are we going to do? Are we just going to sit here admiring others from afar or are we going to do something so that we can have the changes we are desiring?
Wow it seems almost real doesn’t it? In my fifty years, I believed I have been each one of those caterpillars. Did you see yourselves in any of those caterpillars? I have to agree with caterpillar 5 because change does require change. In order for anything to change, the change has to start with us.
For so long, I had been looking for changes in others and not realizing that the change that I wanted had to start with me. I was focusing on everyone else and blaming them for what wasn’t happening.
As believers we are a lot like those caterpillars. We are comfortably sitting admiring others who are doing the things that we desire. Like a caterpillar, as believers we have been given the same abilities. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
One of the things we love most about butterflies are its beautiful colors, but they weren’t always that beautiful. It was a process for even them. It started with a decision and actions that was out of the norm for them. After reading about a butterfly’s transformation, I doesn’t appear to be a comfortable process. I would say it requires sacrifice, actions and tenacity and determination. Here is a synopsis of its process:
One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth.
Caterpillars stop doing something as normal as eating. Then they put themselves in an uncomfortable position. They go a step further by separating/isolating themselves from their surrounding for an appointed time. Bare in mind the time of separation is spent making a “radical” change. They aren’t concentrating on their surrounding but have shut out everything in order to concentrate on their transformation. Sometimes we have to have a “by any means necessary” mind-set in order to get to where we want to be. That’s good all by itself.
I wonder if caterpillars ever look at butterflies with envy. Do you think they ever try to figure out how the butterflies became butterflies? Do you think caterpillars think about the process and decide it will require too much to get there or maybe they think that it’s just not in the plan for them to become a butterfly? No they could never think that because they were created to emerge into greater. They all have what it takes to gain their wings and fly high, but having it is not enough, if you don’t know what you have.
Some of us have been praying for things and wondering when is God going to do it, but I believe a lot of what we have been asking God for He has done it. The problem is the change we have been waiting for has come and we don’t recognize it. Some changes won’t look like we suppose. I would venture to say some changes we are waiting for, requires us to make a change. While we are looking for things around us to change, it won’t happen until we change. Change requires change.
Think on these few scriptures and let it encourage you for the journey:
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5
You were taught to put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, that He considered me faithful and appointed me to service. 1 Timothy 1:12