February 11, 2016

#1 Truth: no Pain; no Gain

The tricky fact about growth of any kind is that it hurts.  Actually, improvement is often such a grueling process that we wonder how we’ll ever survive. Transformation may challenge us in the following ways:

  • Physically
  • Spiritually
  • Mentally
  • Psychologically

The Necessity for the Growth Process

Numerous individuals are satisfied with their current lives. I submit that many more are not.  There’s a metaphorical landfill of buried dreams and hopes out there somewhere.

Why? We’re intimidated by change. We’re addicted to comfort. Alterations for the better or the worse are not restful. Therefore, many of us try to avoid them at all costs.

If we refuse to go through the discomfort that any transformation brings, we will not be able to move beyond our present limitations. We cannot reach our dreams if we keep living the way we are.

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Caterpillars and Butterflies

Imagine if a caterpillar, pretty in its own right, refused to go through the arduous task of becoming a butterfly. He is content to crawl around and eat leaves all day. That’s all he knows.  He’s good with that.

The caterpillar sees no need to rock the boat. He doesn’t know he was meant for something exponentially greater.

Basic science says the caterpillar was meant to be a gorgeous butterfly that will grace the skies. The sky is the limit—literally—for such gorgeous creatures.

The Progression

The metamorphosis isn’t easy; it never is. The caterpillar eats and eats. He forms a cocoon and lives in it for a time. When it is ready to emerge from the pupa as a full-fledged butterfly, it must fight its way out on its own. It struggles and struggles and finally breaks completely out of its shell.

The Purpose of the Process

Are there any shortcuts? No! The butterfly only strengthens its wings enough to fly by using them to break out of the cocoon.

There’s a story about how a man crippled a butterfly by ripping open the cocoon. The man thought he was being kind. However, by circumventing the butterfly’s struggles, he left the butterfly unable to fly. The poor animal’s wings weren’t strong enough to lift it due to the lack of exercise.

My Conclusion

Beauty and victory often follow heavy sacrifice and struggle. A life of comfort produces nothing but more of the same. If we want something different out of life, we must work for it. Some of us aren’t willing to do that. Please see the article I wrote the other day about prominent people who worked hard for success here.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”—James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Are you prepared to break out of your cocoon?

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