Caterpillar watching

Published 2:55 pm Friday, May 20, 2011

Life sometimes takes you on side trips, and I have been on more than a few this year. I’m learning more about going with the flow as I surrender to each experience God throws my way whether I like it or not. As I am sometimes a challenge to myself and my creator I don’t always go without some kicking and screaming.

My latest adventure I wound up living as a house sitter for the last week for a friend who lives on the Louisiana bayou. All that was required of me was to watch the pets. It turned out to be an unintentional vacation for which I was grateful.

All would have been well had it not been for the voices in my head. The “you shoulda’s” and “you gotta’s!” All I wanted to do was enjoy God’s magical wonderland he had blessed me to come to for FREE, but the voices persisted in saying that I should be working or I had to do this or that. Who said!

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“Be a caterpillar watcher.” The still small voice said.

So I did! I found the more I watched the more I learned. The little creature that had been created by the biggest force of nature — God himself — wasn’t spending his days worrying over what others or himself thought he should be doing. He was just being a caterpillar. That’s all he knew. He didn’t worry about food, shelter or all the things the human mind can come up with to worry about. He just trusted he would be taken care of.

Do you know what he got for his trust? He never went hungry, he always had shelter, and from where I sat he was a pretty peaceful little guy just taking his time getting where he was going and always getting there. The thing about caterpillars is they don’t start out beautiful, but they keep going toward their destination no matter how it looks — even when all they are is legs, and the thought of beauty is far from their reality. Yet, even in the ugly is a glimpse of beauty to come.

All the times we feel like life isn’t going according to our plans, and we wonder how it can ever work out, remember the caterpillar. He has no clue one day he’ll be a butterfly, but it’s as certain as the sun rises everyday. I never once encountered a depressed caterpillar who was worried about his next day, next meal or how he was going to get where he was going.

The Caterpillar had the sort of faith humans could learn from — as he just enjoyed his moment. Whatever that was, he was happy, full and taken care of, and what else did he have to concern himself with. Tomorrow might never come if the blue jay in the tree had his way.

I spent the week learning that nature holds all the secrets we’ll ever need on faith and trust, and even the lowly caterpillar plays a grand part in the mysteries of God and his plan for us. If we just watch, listen and learn, one day we too can become butterflies.