I have several stories that I call signature stories. They describe ideas that represent my basic understanding of life and my core beliefs. Each time I tell one, I am again centered in truth and reality. Such is the account of an Emperor butterfly.
In the mid-19th century, English botanist Alfred Russel Wallace observed an Emperor butterfly struggling to get free from its cocoon. As he noted the butterfly’s intense, laborious effort to rid itself of the constricting sleeve that was holding it back, he wondered what would happen if he assisted the birth process. Using a scalpel he delicately cut the length of the cocoon and reported that the butterfly, once freed, crept moodily about, drooped perceptibly, and died.
The struggle of life was nature’s way of sending fluids through the intricate framework that resulted in the beauty of a magnificent Emperor butterfly.
This story helps me accept and even affirm the necessity of struggle. It is God’s way of helping us grow stronger, wiser, and yes, become even more beautiful souls. In the Gospel of John we read Jesus’ words, “Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.” (John 16:20)
Difficult as it may be, trust the necessity of struggle and trust the end result of honest striving. God bless you on life’s journey.