When a caterpillar is ready to become a butterfly, it eats as much as it can because it knows it will soon be time to birth into something better. What happens next is amazing.
It builds a cocoon around itself and continues to develop. I see this as a period of reflection, thinking for itself, trying to understand itself. And then it emerges out of the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly.
However before it does that, you must understand that the butterfly is bigger now than when it got into the cocoon. It is therefore more difficult to come out than when it went in as a caterpillar. So what does it do? Give up? Complain?
No. The butterfly presses through the cocoon, little by little. Its wings are initially folded, to make the passage slightly easier. Once out, it unfurls them in the sunlight to reveal the beautiful wonder that it is.
The butterfly is beautiful because of its lovely colours. We admire butterflies for their beauty and usefulness. They help to pollinate flowers and they do not cause us any problems. They are not as annoying as those pesky mosquitoes!
But the butterfly has enemies. Its beautiful colours attract not just admirers, but predators. Birds, frogs, snakes and lizards are some of the enemies of the butterfly and one way they locate it is by its colours.
The butterfly could decide to stay safe in its protective but dull cocoon, but it doesn’t. It probably thinks to itself, “even if I live for one day as a beautiful butterfly, before being eaten by a frog, it is well worth the risk to emerge from my cocoon.”
Like this butterfly, we will go through a metarmophosis in life. But sometimes I think some of us just refuse to emerge from the cocoon. We become too comfortable, too safe. We become too afraid to take risks.
Like the caterpillar, we have been nourished by our God and our world: life, good health, family, job, etc. We have been fed enough, it is time to come out of our protective cocoons, even though it may involve risks, sacrifices, mistakes, etc. We need to give back! We can't let fear, passivity, laziness, etc hold us back. It is only when we do that we can fly high and radiate the glory of God in our giftedness. And people will be blessed because we did not hold back.
In the Parable of the Talents, recorded in Matthew 25:14-30, the master of the servant who refused to use his one talent out of fear, called him a "wicked and lazy servant". Those are harsh words, but Jesus means what He says. He hates unproductive people, because they deprive others of the blessings they have been given. In Revelations 21:8, we read that cowards as well as those who disbelieve, etc will not inherit the Kingdom of God. It is that serious!
Thankfully we have the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome our fears and step put to be all God wants us to be, the light in a dark world and those who seek the lost.
So I encourage you, don't hold back the beauty you have been given. Don't let passivity/apathy, anger, jealousy, pride, laziness, etc keep you back. Reflect the glory of God in everything you do. Walk in humility, in love, in patience, in godliness, in generosity, etc.
May God help us to be all He made us to be. Amen.