Summer…what an incredible season! It is a time marked by great weather, fun in the sun, cool treats, and vacations. It is also famous for bugs, of which my daughters are not huge fans! There is one insect they enjoy though, as I think most kids do. Chasing butterflies can be fun and entertaining, and is perhaps more fun than even catching one (though my girls would disagree with me on that one).
Of all creatures, the butterfly is absolutely amazing. They are so incredibly fragile. Their flight patterns appear pretty sporadic. Their transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is nothing short of miraculous, and their determination and strength surpasses their apparent delicateness.
The photo here was actually taken by my brother in his yard. As I was perusing through his photos of butterflies, I found myself intrigued by some similarities between them and people.
First, we enter this world appearing insignificant. On the surface, both caterpillars and babies offer very little in terms of contributing to the betterment of the world. They eat, crawl, sleep and can, to the onlooker, appear to be time-consuming and downright destructive at times (except to the “parents”, of course). Now someone might be getting a little defensive right now wondering how I can talk about cute little babies this way. After all, they provide unlimited joy to the parents and they are the world of tomorrow. I agree completely. We are talking appearance only. Just stick with me as we continue.
Both butterflies and humans enter this world with an inbred ability to achieve great things. Despite its fragile structure and ill-perceived weakness, the monarch butterfly migrates from as far north as Canada to Mexico. They have even been known to make cross-Atlantic flight under specific conditions. It sets out on this journey, but cannot complete it on its own. It takes 3-4 generations of butterflies to make the trek. There seems to be something inherently built into the butterfly’s DNA that allows the next generation to know where it is and where it needs to go. And somehow it is able to go the distance, as if supernaturally, to achieve its designed purpose. We, as well, were created with a built-in ability to achieve. We were created to get from where we have arrived to where we are destined to go, so that the next generation can pick up where we leave off. I am not talking so much from a global perspective, but a personal one. You have been placed here by an Almighty God who desires you to move forward in all he designed you to be, so that you may then pass the torch on to the next generation, raising someone up to take things the next mile.
If we are to move forward in any hopes of achieving the desired end, there must be a metamorphosis. The caterpillar has no hopes of making the necessary journey. It requires change. It wants change. It then sets the atmosphere for the change to occur. It breaks forth from its cocoon, strengthening its wings as it goes. It then…and only then… is able to take flight toward its destination. We too must go through the same process. I talk to many people and have never found anyone who does not want change. However, if we want change we must be willing to change to make change that will change everything. Did you get that? This is what metamorphosis is. It is not enough to just want things to change. We must be willing to make changes, and the greatest change that is necessary is to change ourselves. To change the things externally, we must first be willing and get seriously active about making changes internally…in the way we behave, think, and in our belief systems. We must then set the atmosphere for the change by surrounding ourselves with people and resources that will help facilitate the change. Then, the hard work begins as we begin to transform and break out of our cocoon of ruts and bondages that hold us captive to past patterns. Nobody else can do this work. Only we can. If anyone else tries to break us out, it will stunt our “wing development” and keep us from flying as we need to fly. Breaking free is just as much a part of the process. If a caterpillar waited to change into a butterfly or simply hope to fly, it would always remain just a caterpillar. Metamorphosis is miraculous, but it does not negate the caterpillar’s, or our part in the miracle.
We were destined to fly; we are now designed to fly, SO FLY! You were destined by God for awesome things. As you break free from things that hold you down, you can now achieve those things you were destined for. You are no longer a caterpillar, so stop crawling! Set your sights. Mount up on wings. FLY! As you do, people will no longer see you as a caterpillar, for now you look and act much different. Some may still see you as weak or fragile, but that is not your identity. Looks are deceiving. You are different. Embrace the change. Fly. Generations that follow are counting on you!
What does this phrase mean to you: “if we want change we must be willing to change to make change that will change everything”? I would love to hear your insights. Place your comments below!