Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Creepy Caterpillar

I have been thinking about caterpillars lately.  Especially how they change.  Walking to preschool the other day, my youngest daughter stopped to watch a caterpillar crawl across a rock.  For the rest of the walk we talked about the way caterpillars become butterflies.  The mystery of it still befuddles me. In two weeks one kind of creature, a fuzzy crawling pest, becomes an entirely other kind of creature, an ethereal piece of art in motion. 

In anticipation of starting homeschooling, she and I have been doing some preschool stuff.  We downloaded a wonderful packet from about "pretty bugs."  We colored, played the "hide the dragonfly" game, and memorized together the verse on the picture you see.  "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17). We colored and cut out some little vocabulary cards - there was a butterfly, a caterpillar and a tree so, of course, we had to sing the caterpillar song. 

Creepy caterpillar
Climbing up a tree
He wiggles short,
He wiggles long,
He wiggles right at me.
Put him in a box,
"Don't go away," I said.
When I opened up the box
A butterfly instead.
I could never make one
No matter how I try.
Only God in heaven
Can make a butterfly.*

I loved the packet for the fact that its free, (I'm cheap) easy to download, (I'm a technological idiot) and for the natural way that she worked a math game, English, art, and Bible together in a format a preschooler could enjoy.  I loved the comparison between how the caterpillar is transformed in a cocoon, and we, corresponding to our crucified Savior, are reborn - a new creation.  I loved the fact that my 3 year old got it too! 

However, in the caterpillar there is a lesson for me too.  I was on a friend's blog a long time ago and I saw a poignant post.  Jeni Allen, blogger, mom and my dorm mate at Harding University, wrote about the day her daughter came home singing the caterpillar song.  She got to thinking about all the power God has to start changing busy, impatient moms.  

I remember the post every time I sing the song. God's power to cause true metamorphosis is astonishing.  He not only changes tadpoles into frogs but acorns into oak trees.  He morphs fishermen into preachers. (Mark 1) He transforms one of the Sons of Thunder into the disciple of love. (Mark 3) He grabs hold of a fiery Pharisee and after short spell of blindness anoints him to be the first Christian missionary. (Acts 9) Changing a caterpillar into a butterfly is nothing! 

I have two jobs to do in this process.  Two things that are required of me to get in on the fun of being transformed into the person God wants me to be.  One, I have to be willing.  God never hijacked the free will of any person. Every child is a willing one.  Every slave He stole back from sin wanted to be free.  Two, I have to be patient.  I have to wait on the Lord.  The change from lost to saved happens in a moment, but the change towards humility, peacefulness, kindness and love that God has envisioned for me, that is the Spirit's work of a lifetime.  But I believe that if He hovered over the waters and created the world from chaos, He can hover in me and reclaim my heart for His own. (Genesis 1:2) 


*I googled the lyrics to this song and discovered there are several version out there. The one recorded here is simply the way we sing it at our house.  If anyone knows the source and original lyrics, leave us a comment!

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission 

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