Lessons Learned from a Butterfly

November 02, 2017

I remember reading a story about a man who found a cocoon and a butterfly. He noticed that there was a small opening. He sat and watched this butterfly struggle for several hours trying to force its body through the little hole. Then he noticed that it stopped making progress. As if it had given up. So the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon and the butterfly was able to get out easily. But to his dismay the butterfly did not spread its wings and fly. The body was swollen and it had shriveled wings. He expected it at any moment to see it fly, it didn't happen. Actually, the butterfly lived a short life crawling around and was never able to fly.

What the man did not realize was that the butterfly needed to struggle through the small opening in order for the fluid from the body to be forced into the wings so it can be ready for flight once it came out of the cocoon. He was trying to be helpful but yet interfered with the very process that would allow the butterfly to fly.

Why am I telling you this story?

Sometimes I do this in my life with friends. I see them struggling and I jump all too quick to help them. Meanwhile that very struggle may be needed for them to persevere in this season of their life, even if it is hard to watch them push themselves out of that cocoon inch by inch when you know you could help them quickly pull it open.

I do this even with myself. There are many times where I am asking God and praying for him to remove certain obstacles from my life, for him to open the cocoon. But maybe those obstacles are there for me to learn something about myself, to strengthen me. To give me tools that I require for things that are in my future, just like a butterfly.

So now what?

In my opinion things that we see as obstacles shouldn't necessarily be resolved by taking the easy way out or by relying on others to fight our battles, to open our cocoons. But instead these obstacles are there to help us grow and gain resilience and push through it so that we can be like that butterfly and soar and live prosperously.

Do you share these thoughts?

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