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Good Times, Doldrums, Cocoons and Butterflies

I recently attended a seminar on Getting Your Dream and Fulfilling Your Dream. In one session, speaker Lance Wallnau shared a life concept that was illuminating to me. Let’s frame this idea with a life lesson by an unknown author.

“There was an Indian Chief who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly.  So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.”

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the youngest son in the autumn. A year later, when they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the pear tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no, the pear tree was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said the pear tree was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said the pear tree was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The Indian Chief then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life. He told them they cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season. The essence of who they are and what they become in life can only be measured in the end, when all the seasons are up. 

 “If you give up when it’s winter, you will no doubt miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer and the fulfillment of your autumn.”

Did you know that seasons started after the flood subsided? God gave a promise to Noah and us. Noah’s name means rest. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and the day and night shall never cease.” Genesis 8:22. Just like the weather, there will be different seasons in our life. Sometimes everything will be sweet, other times sour. Relax. The end is just a beginning in disguise.

There are four cycles in life, which like the weather, repeat themselves.

I will personalize this.

The First Season

The first season is the good times when you are happy, your life or career is doing great. It’s energizing. It’s fulfilling. It’s your focus. You are prospering.

The Second Season

The second season is a time when you enter the doldrums. What used to excite and fulfill you doesn’t anymore. You lose focus. You’re not stimulated like you used to be. You become bored. Things are good but something is missing. Something has changed.

The Third Season

Then comes the third season. That’s the cocoon stage. That’s when you may be between careers. Or you may be in a ‘time-out’ or ‘half-time’ somewhere. It may even be divorce or something like that. It’s dark. You’re invisible. But something is great is going on. The old is passing away and something new is developing. Something fresh. Something alive. Something closer to the reason you were created.

The Butterfly Stage

Now comes the butterfly stage. You somehow chew your way through the cocoon. Don’t come out too fast. Your wings and body need to develop muscles by pushing on the inside to get to the outside. You are transformed. You are still you but different. You’re got an upgrade. But you had to go through the good times, doldrums, cocoon and butterfly stage to be back to the good times stage.

I’ve experienced this cycle several times in my life. You probably have too. Notice that when you hit the good times stage again that you are not at the same level as you were before. It’s like a circle that spirals upwards. The good times stage the second time, and third time is higher and closer to God who created you are such a time and reason as this. You are not going around in circles. You are ascending in spirals. Butterflies do that. Relax!


church-community-connection-02Church-Community Connection is published weekly in newspapers and blogs all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 600 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing inaccurate mental perceptions that the community has of God, church, and Christianity. If you know of a local newspaper that you think would like these articles, please have them contact Ed Delph at our website. The articles are free of charge and Ed’s way of giving back to the community.

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