Mindset Monday: Becoming … Fly like you were created to

I was born in Carmel, CA and as a 2nd and 3rd grader we lived in Pacific Grove, CA.  I think P.G. (as we locals call it) is most famous for the ice plant that blooms along the bay.  It’s just one of the many reasons I love the Peninsula.

P.G. is also famous for the yearly migration of the Monarch butterflies.  I remember it as the blooming of the butterfly trees.  But what did those butterflies have to go through to fulfill who God created them to be?

Most of us know … they start out as caterpillars, spun a cocoon, and then emerged as butterflies.  Of all the interesting facts about this metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, the most amazing to me is that before spinning the cocoon, the caterpillar sheds its skin five times … holy moly … the work, the discomfort, and most importantly, the determination that it takes to go through that process — what a great example of our metamorphosis.

Once the cocoon is complete, the transformation process begins – inside, where no one can see what’s happening.  Sound familiar?  Do you still have those days when you feel like a caterpillar squiggling along trying to figure out how to become that beautiful butterfly?

It’s important to note that even after the butterfly is fully formed in the chrysalis, it takes hours for it to be ready to fly — there’s still more developing.  The butterfly fights its way out and then waits while its wings dry.  Do you get frustrated because you expect yourself to be fully developed and ready to soar — but you’ve still got growing to do?

Did you know that if we help that butterfly by opening the chrysalis for it that it won’t develop as it should? We will actually stunt its growth.  We have to let it fight to the end.

Several years ago a friend of mine told me about her 4-year old nephew who was trying to put a puzzle together.  He got overwhelmed and said in his whiney little boy voice, “It’s too hard.”

It’s true — the metamorphosis of life is hard.  Here’s the good news — Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.

I’ve always wondered about the yoke and burden that Jesus talked about — Why is it so light and easy life feels like I’m struggling out of my skin … five times … building a cocoon … and then fighting my way out of it, too?  I get to the point when I say in my whiney little girl voice, “It’s too hard!”

Then I remember what Jesus’ yoke and burden is — how we are commanded to live our lives — “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  Love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12: 30-31.

That’s right – LOVE … first God and then others.  That doesn’t sound so hard … but sometimes I’m too self-centered to love God’s way.  That’s where Romans 12:2 comes in — Paul uses the word we translate to metamorphosis when he instructed us to renew our minds.

I love the Message version, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Ready to mature into that beautiful butterfly?

The mindset is two-fold:

  1. Love God and others
  2. Let God renew your mind

It won’t always be easy … but it will always result in you becoming all you were created to be.

Leave me a comment and let me know how your metamorphosis is going!

NOTE: All the pictures and more info can be found at http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/