Years ago, I went to hear a young revival preacher. I found myself nodding off and unable to stay interested. Then, he said something that I wrote down, which has impacted my whole life: All the battles of life are won or lost in the mind! That is one of the most powerful truths that I’ve ever encountered.
The Bible has much to say about the mind. My favorite is Roman 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
So, how then do we renew the mind? What kind of metamorphosis is needed? I like what writer Martha Beck has to say about the subject: “I used to think I knew how some caterpillars become butterflies. I assumed they weave cocoons, then sit inside growing six long legs, four wings and so on. I figured if I were to cup open a cocoon, I’d find a butterfly-ish caterpillar, or a caterpillar-ish butterfly, depending on how far things had progressed. I was wrong. In fact, the first thing caterpillars do in their cocoons is shed their skin, leaving a soft, rubbery chrysalis. If you were to look inside the cocoon early on, you’d find nothing but a puddle of glop. But in that glop are certain cells, called imago cells, that contain the DNA-coded instructions for turning bug soup into a delicate, winged creature – the angle of the dead caterpillar.”
We go through many changes in our lifetime, some good – some bad, and each time we are given the opportunity to learn and transcend something, usually a problem we faced that seemed to rob us of all joy. But the key is to allow this metamorphosis to complete itself. We don’t go from caterpillar to butterfly overnight, and maybe not even in our lifetime. The trick is to learn the lesson that has resulted from the “problem,” renew our minds, and go on to the next issue that comes our way.
If you’ve ever read Kafka’s Metamorphosis then you know that Gregor, the protagonist of the story, wakes up and has been totally transformed into an insect. Hopefully, that will never happen to us. But, sometimes, life presents us with problems that seem even worse than Gregor’s fate. We can’t see anyway out – we feel hopeless and doomed. It seems that our world is crumbling before our very eyes. Sometimes, we just need to step back and be still for a moment or as long as it takes to see that a metamorphosis is taking place in our lives and in our minds. If we can listen long enough to hear God’s voice, we can trust that He is in charge of this whole metamorphosis process, and if we trust long enough, we will see the “butterfly” that is emerging. We can renew our minds and prepare for the next stage of our growth. And, for as long as we are alive, this metamorphosis will continue until one day we realize it is time to meet our Maker.
Trust God’s voice and have a happy journey!