Tag: Romans 12:2

Metamorphosis

IMG_1097Butterflies are beautiful. I especially like the monarch butterflies that get their nourishment from nectar contained in my lantana bushes. As I observe these amazing creatures as they flit from flower to flower, I often reflect on the fact that they have not always been as beautiful and free as they are now.

Young butterflies are very different from adult butterflies. They have actually gone through a great change in their appearance and function. They look different, move differently and even eat different kinds of food. Even their purpose changes. Whereas the caterpillar lives to eat, the butterfly lives to reproduce.

The metamorphosis has four stages. The egg develops into a caterpillar. The main function of the caterpillar is eating. As it grows, it sheds its skin four or five times, storing food to be used later. A full grown caterpillar stops eating and forms a pupa (called a chrysalis in butterflies and a cocoon in moths). When that stage is finally complete, what emerges is what most people think of when they consider butterflies – those beautifully colored insects that frequent my lantana.

Even though I am aware that the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, I do not sit and watch caterpillars. They are not attractive. They are sluggish. They cannot fly. It is when they have been released from their confinement that the beauty and the freedom of the butterflies capture my delight.

The metamorphosis that takes place in the life of a butterfly is similar to what happens to us when we become Christians and make Christ the Lord of our lives. We don’t lose our original identity, but we are transformed with a new purpose. We have been released from our bondage and are free.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). John MacArthur says, “The English word metamorphosis comes from the Greek word used in this verse translated ‘transformed.’ It speaks of a total change and involves a choice: to express your new nature through holy living or to allow your flesh to act unrighteously…. Only the believer with a spiritually transformed mind can resist the world, the flesh and the devil.”

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1 ESV).

Therapeutic Writing

I enjoy writing. My self-imposed schedule of once a week articles, once a month devotionals, frequently updated Bible studies and always working on a book keeps my mind occupied. If and when adverse circumstances come along, I have discovered that because I have a writing schedule, I can keep thinking positively instead. Not all stress is bad. The tension that comes from having to write something at least once a week is a good thing.

120px-Computer_keyboardAs a result of this writing schedule, I view things a little differently than before. Even something trivial – a stepping stone, sunrise, walking through the woods or poison ivy (not so trivial when you have a reaction to it) or something more substantive like working with my husband on a project or becoming interested in Chinese New Year because I now have a granddaughter adopted from China – all these are potential subjects for articles.

I created a blog in order to interact with others, but the benefits I have received from being faithful in writing it have far exceeded even the potential of what it might do for anyone else. My blog is titled One Focus. It has done just that. It has kept my mind focused on what is really important.

SB19 (2)The fact that I am constantly thinking about something to write has saved me from other distracting thoughts. Each of us experiences self-talk – talking to ourselves in our minds. What dominates our thoughts eventually comes out in our actions. Choosing to think constructive thoughts will prevent the negative thoughts from crowding in.  Or so it has for me.

The beauty of writing a blog is that you can do it from practically anywhere. Even though I travel a great deal, my laptop is always with me. If I have an idea, I can start on a post even when the internet is not available. In fact, I seldom sit down and post in one sitting. I need to mull it over to make sure I am communicating what I really want to say.

I have come rather late to writing, blogging and maintaining websites. There is always something new to learn about putting your thoughts out there on the web. It is a wonderful medium, however, when used to help others.

Whether you share your thoughts with others or keep them to yourself, your thoughts define who you are. You are not the only one engaged in the conversation that goes on in your mind – God is as well.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect…Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things… for the righteous God tries the hearts and minds (Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8, Psalm 7:9 NAS).