One of the perks of living in Florida is sitting outside by the pool under the warm sun…in the middle of winter! And sometimes we are blessed to see a caterpillar on its journey from the milkweed, to being enfolded into a cocoon, clinging precariously to the pool cage, and eventually becoming a beautiful butterfly.
We are like the caterpillar in a way, feeding on scripture, clinging to whatever is the next step in life and growing into what the Lord has for us. Sunday morning we go to the “garden” and we seek to find the nourishment we need to grow into the mission God has for us. But it takes time to grow and learn what to do next, perhaps more time than we might like. As we grow, we become stronger, more aware of our gifts, and, little by little, God shows us his plan for us, just like the caterpillar looking for that right spot to nest and wait for the miracle to occur.
Growing pains aren’t fun, but I have to think that the caterpillar is an amazing example of the love God has for us. He gives us a mission. He gives us the drive to proceed in faith. And it’s up to us to hang on to the truths and promises we have in Holy Scripture, in the support we find in each other, and in the relationship we have with Jesus. In the end, our mission will take wings!
About the author: Previously the priest at St. Francis of Assisi in Lake Placid for 21 years, Rev. Elizabeth L. Nelson is now the Priest at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in LaBelle.