Butterflies and Tadpoles

Feasting on the Word.

I raised my arm to the sky, enticing the Monarch butterfly sitting on my fingertip to take to the wind. She slowly unfolded her russet wings, allowing the morning sun to warm her. Suddenly, she lifted, fluttering quickly over the trees and out of sight. In just moments, it was over—our home-school science project had come to an end.

My two young daughters and I looked at each other with both a sense of accomplishment and sadness. They had named this particular butterfly Diamond. For two weeks we had watched as our five small caterpillars ate, grew, ate more and grew again. Each one transformed into a chrysalis, eventually popping out as a beautiful butterfly.

We were all amazed at the enormous appetites of these caterpillars. Likewise, we couldn’t believe how quickly they grew, and the astounding difference between these crawling leaf-munchers and the delicate, winged creatures that emerged a week later.

By contrast, in another corner of our house sits a tiny fishbowl containing a tadpole. His name is Tad. He is not beautiful; he’s slimy and doesn’t do much to impress my girls. We have had Tad for several weeks, and he has neither grown nor shown signs of morphing into a frog. Honestly, he’s a boring science project. He sits at the bottom, and we never see him actually eat. I’m certain if he ate more, he would grow.

Both of these science projects remind me of my spiritual life. I want to be like Diamond, but how often do I emulate Tad? We all long for a vibrant spiritual walk—something more than a slimy, stagnant existence. Yet when I neglect feeding from God’s Word, it stunts my ability to grow.

Conversely, I will find myself transformed continually if I can say, like the psalmist, “I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word” (Psalm 119:16, New International Version).

If I can gorge on the Lord’s teachings, I’m sure to end up more like the butterfly.

I learned much from the transformation of the caterpillar into a completely different creature. I had planned to use it as a tool to teach my children, but God instead used it to teach me. I hope I got an A+.