Have you ever studied how a butterfly is born? Most people know that caterpillars turn into butterflies- but are you familiar with the process? It consists of four stages- egg, caterpillar, chrysalis (cocoon), and butterfly. Here it is in very non-scientific terms: You start off with a disgusting little round white thing, which hatches and becomes a disgusting worm that grows exponentially, devouring every plant it can get ahold of, which, after it has stuffed itself with leaves, it then literally digests itself over a process of several days in a cocoon like structure. Not an auspicious start to life, right? But then… in the final stage of life, the butterfly emerges in radiant beauty. Our reaction to if we saw it in its first three stages of its life would be to squish it or run. It is ugly and disgusting to almost everyone. But after it transforms, our response is to stop in wonder and observe the beautiful creature. No one but a barbarian would dare squish a butterfly. And no one would run away scared. Seeing little things like this bring beauty to our otherwise noisy, busy, and digitized lives. Thus, in God’s divine plan something despicable becomes glorious.
It is that way with us too. We start off cute enough though. We are the center of attention as grown folks gather around us and try to get us to smile. As we grow, we are treated with patience and love as we learn the ways of the world. We are given at least 18 years before we are legally expected to act like adults. And then it hits. No longer the center of attention. No longer given a free pass for mistakes. We start to experience the bitterness of life and deceitfulness of the world. Whereas once we were looked on favorably, now we are viewed with suspicion. We also bear the guilt and shame of every bad decision we’ve ever made. No wonder unhappiness, unsettledness, and depression is so rampant in this modern age.
We wish we could transform into something different, something new and beautiful. This is a good desire- yet something we see fold tragically before our eyes in mid-life crises, regression away from responsibility to chase what we once were. Today, we see people so desperate for transformation that they deny the very nature of their existence. Less visibly, but still dangerous- many of us bury ourselves in the digital world of television, video games, and social media- in an effort to redefine ourselves. Is there a better way to a meaningful existence?
There is a supernatural way. One found through the example of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1. One that we can learn from and emulate today. This is amazing- revolutionary to the human mind and heart. Yet, as seasoned Christians in the faith, we can become calloused and dismissive to the very truths that breathe new life into our tired souls. We must remain focused on the transforming power of the Gospel and its impact on the world we live in.
Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend and I hope you’ll join us at 10:15 this Sunday morning, at Christ Community Church as we study transforming truths from the book of Galatians.
-Pastor Nathan Rice