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Cocooning

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I was reading Lindsey Nobles’ post With a Heavy Heart and I was reminded of times when I have faced or come through something that challenged the way I thought or believed.  It is almost cliche to say that they were life changing moments.  I don’t remember when but at some point in my life I began to think of those times as cocoon moments – times when I needed to take a pause and just become introspective.

One of those cocoon moments in my life was during the weeks following my return from an international mission trip.  I had visited a country where I was challenged in my understanding of true poverty and the unpleasant realities that accompany it.  That time on foreign soil had also been training in what it means to be fully immersed in kingdom work for every waking moment.  It is easy for us, or at least for myself, to forget that we are always on mission in our everyday lives in the status quo existence that we call normalcy.  Returning from the mission trip had been more of a shock to my system than actually visiting that foreign land had been.  I was suddenly faced with bringing those two realities together and figuring out what that meant.  I was dissatisfied and restless with a life that I had looked at as fulfilling just a few weeks before.  Many things that had held meaning for me had suddenly become meaningless.  I needed time to cocoon.

Through the cocoon process I was reminded that God did not change instead He had been working a change in me.  There is a quicksilver feel to that transitional process as one reality is traded for another.  As I write that sentence I am reminded that we are always discovering new truths in this present reality that point us to a fact that there is something beyond which is more concrete and substantial.  It is that assurance that causes our heart’s heaviness because we are aware that we are just strangers passing through a landscape here in which we have a short time to bring part of that future substantiation to bear in the lives of those who have not yet awoken to an awareness of that future reality.

And sometimes it just all seems so futile – too big to be accomplished.  Maybe those thoughts come from feeling mired between where we were in the past and where we would like to be in a future that we have so many questions about.  The present just appears to be quick sand that fights progress in any direction.

Maybe that is what a caterpillar experiences.  It spends so much time just focused on the purpose at hand which in its case is eating.  Then one day something happens.  Something strange and foreign.  Something it has never experienced before.  And so it cocoons.  What does it experience inside that cocoon?  Is there pain? Or excitement? Does it ever feel the process of whatever is happening is just taking too much time?

Who can speak for the thoughts of a bug?  One thing we know is that it eventually emerges from its cocoon and it is no longer what it used to be.

Its new reality allows it to take flight.

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles… Isaiah 40:31

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Categories: Life Thoughts Tags: , , ,
  1. May 1, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Excellent thoughts here, Tony. I, too, often think about the caterpillar to butterfly metamorphosis, and how it is such a metaphor for spiritual growth. I’m somewhere in a cocoon season right now, and what you have shared here has really spoken to me tonight. Thank you.

    • May 2, 2010 at 12:07 am

      Thanks Grant. I think the real struggle for us as Christians is to remain consistently focused on God and His will for our lives regardless of what stage we find ourselves in. I know, reading your blog, that you are giving a good example of listening to His voice during your time in the cocoon.

  2. May 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for sharing these Tony. I wouldn’t say I am in a cocooning process except that I just returned from LIT and was uplifted. Now I gotta make sure that I don’t allow everyday occurrences to close the cocoon but will allow me to eventually come out. We are also in a decision making process that I can’t put out publicly. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • May 2, 2010 at 12:09 am

      Bill… thanks for piquing my curiosity. 🙂

      I understand what you mean about the quasi-cocoon process following a conference. There is so much information that needs to be processed and there has been a time of encouragement that is different from the everyday.

      I pray that God gives you confidence and clarity in the decision that you have to make.

  3. May 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you Tony! It can feel so heavy, so overwhelming. The caccooning process is so much out of the control of the participant. Can the bug at that stage have the answers to the world it is about to enter?
    God help me with my underwhelming ability to affect most things. But through You I hope to be willing to do my part to stretch out and have the courage to break free. I will just fly the best I can and desire to fly with others so we can make an impact on the world around us.

    • May 2, 2010 at 12:12 am

      Tom,

      Yeah… there are definitely feelings of weight, oppression, or bondage that can be associated with a period of decision or introspection. And yet, we have the freedom of flight to look forward to when it has ran its course.

      God Bless

  4. May 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I’m going through a definite cocoon time in my life right now. I liked how you said, “Through the cocoon process I was reminded that God did not change instead He had been working a change in me.”
    Totally needed to be reminded of that!

    • May 2, 2010 at 12:14 am

      Melissa,

      Isn’t that the greatest truth! God is consistent and always near. Sometimes we lose sight of that through the circumstances in our lives… but, eventually, if we keep our hearts turned to Him, He shows us just how faithful He is.

      Peace and blessings.

  5. May 3, 2010 at 1:38 am

    preach.

    cocooning hurts but who wants to be an ugly caterpillar?!?!?! 😉 keep on, even in the midst of pain and turn into a beautiful butterfly!

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