Nov 28, 2021

The Clue In The Weeds

When it comes to mysteries, most people are very susceptible to their charms.  There’s just something about a “Da Vinci Code” or a hidden “National Treasure” which prompts a buy-in of the mind. 

 So, we follow the clues through all of the twists and turns of some dubious trail.  Until finally, we are able to discover that all-consuming object of our quest – that mysterious secret or that hidden thing.  And hopefully, with that discovery, there comes a closure which is so deeply satisfying as to easily justify all of our investment.

 In fact, it was God who put this proclivity for solving mysteries within us in the first place.  And, then He very graciously dropped little divine “bread crumbs” in  the natural world to help confirm the true path to the greatest prize of all – unending life.

 One such bread crumb is the well-known life cycle of the caterpillar as he goes from being a short legged, hairy little worm to become a magnificent butterfly.  That transformative journey is, in fact, a natural doppelganger for mankind’s infinitely more important metaphysical translation to immortality in Christ. 

 Scientist describe the caterpillar’s journey as a “complete metamorphosis.”  In simple terms, this means that the caterpillar’s mature stage is completely different in structure and appearance from its beginning stage. 

 A cricket or a grasshopper, on the other hand, only experiences what biologist refer to as an “incomplete metamorphosis.”  Unlike the butterfly, these insects are, at their end, essentially what they were at the beginning of their life cycle, only larger and with wings.

 So, the butterfly is the real analogy for the faith life cycle.  This clue, left to us among the weeds and flowers of the insect world, perfectly mimics the following description of man’s redemption from the New Testament.  There it says,“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  

 How could such a statement possibly be honestly interpreted in any other way than to be describing the believer’s “complete metamorphosis?”  So, like that of the caterpillar, the journey of the believer moves him forward from his beginning place as a stubbornly self-directed creature toward his own truly transformational cocoon.

 But this metaphysical cocoon forms its structure, not from strands of silk, but from the strands of time – an actual period of intense personal devotion in the pursuit of God and His purposes.  And during this period something happens.  It is an indispensable and pivotal event which does, indeed, change everything.  It is this time of intense devotion which brings the believer to the pivotal event of his metaphysical merger with the character essence of the Living Christ.

 And, through this mystical character integration, the believer’s value system is then overwritten with the divine values, so that they become completely internalizes as his very own.  And his puny faith is strengthened by this new connection to the vibrant faith of the Living Christ enabling a very consistent faith-expressiveness in the believer through both good times and troubled. 

 So now, this entirely new creature emerges from this transformative “cocoon time,” a mature new being that looks nothing like he did at first, and, indeed, is nothing like he was at first.  Now he is marked by this beautiful, Christ sustained heart-oneness with his Creator based in their shared value system.  And, he is fully capable of expressing those values as  consistent faith responses in both his relationship to God and in response to life’s various circumstances. 

 And, as a result of this Christ-empowered newness, he can now enjoy a fulfilled life in the surpassing peace of this loving and thoroughly sustaining symbiotic relationship with the Living God.  The earthly “worm” has now truly become the metaphysical “butterfly” which will live forever – just as God intended and prescribed for us through the redemptive work of Christ.

It is very sad, however, that this true nature of the faith life cycle does not square at all with the prevailing redemptive ideas of these more modern times.  These times have largely invested themselves in the bogus belief that “a believer’s minimal investment” is a perfectly legitimate approach the redemption of his soul.  Indeed, it is this misconception which keeps so many in the modern Church from actually experiencing this complete metaphysical metamorphosis in the Living Christ – which God’s authentic redemptive plan enables and requires.

 Truly, it is the idea of a maximum investment, not a minimum one, which really squares with the writings of the New Testament and these timeless words from our beginnings.  “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”  And, it is only a complete metamorphosis, and not an incomplete one, which satisfies that divine redemptive requirement of a thorough newness of heart in the Living Christ.

 Thus, this wondrous path of a profound personal transformation is the true path leading to that ultimate prize of unending life. And this is ever confirmed to be so by all of those divine “bread crumbs,” so kindly dropped in the natural world to mark it.