Sunday, August 10, 2008

Molting Caterpillars

spicebush swallowtail caterpillar molting
Caterpillars skin never grows. When they grow too large for their skin, they crawl out of it (molt) with a new baggy skin that allows them to continue growing. If they can't escape from their old skin, they're doomed to die in the tight skin that doesn't allow them to grow.

monarch caterpillar larva molt
This happens several times before a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis. Most caterpillars that people raise in their homes will molt four times. The first time, they are so small that no one can see the caterpillar well, let alone realize it is molting!

monarch butterfly caterpillar larva molt

Watching caterpillars molt brings a question to my mind; What is keeping me from growing as a Christian? Whatever it is, I need to get 'out' of it and grow.

As I examine myself, I realize that some of what keeps me from growing is not letting go of yesterday. Things positive I like to hold onto and keep close to me. Things negative I tend to hold onto and keep close to me. And I especially need to let go of negative things.

One of the 'positive' things I have realized that I need to 'grow out of' is enjoying my food too much. From M&Ms to fried chicken to M&Ms to bacon to M&Ms to pizza to ... well, you get the drift. I've thought quite a bit lately of the fact that we are the temple of God. Now how should I treat the temple of God? Not by doing things that cause it to crumble down around my ears, that's for sure. By not eating right, I'm not taking care of this temple. To know to do something and not do it ... that can keep me from growing. (Uh ... but in this case I don't mean growing physically, as into a larger jean size!) Why should God give me more when I don't take care of what he has given to me?

A 'negative' thing I need to grow out of is dwelling on negative thoughts. Things I wish I had done or said different or not at all, times that I (or those I love) have been misunderstood or misjudged, or times I have misunderstood or misjudged others, and so many more things! Time spent in negative thoughts is wasted time. I must first ask forgiveness or to forgive, and to move forward into today.

Spending more time with my best friend of all, God, is the best way to grow. But to do so, I must 'molt' by leaving behind some of the time I spend wastefully. No, not that the things are bad, but that the time could be better spent. I've started spending less time on the internet (that's hard, cutting out internet time) and putting more time into reading Christian books (Women of Faith and Joyce Meyer books at the present time) and listening to those who share about the lessons they've learned from God.

I won't be limited to four molts; I have too many things to grow out of ... and I can trust God to show me the things I need to leave behind. Sometimes it's not something I really want to leave behind until I do so; then I realize that what I treasured was simply something that I am much happier leaving out of my life.

I Cor. 6:16
"... for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

Phillipians 4:8
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

1 comment:

  1. Edith - how did you know? This post was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you. I will print it out and keep it... maybe even STEAL it as I have been asked to speak at church's our service for St Francis soon. (

    Love and thanks to you, dear Edith.