Here is a short parable on finding value in the struggles of life. I have seen many people fail in one way or another in life, whether in business, career or more importantly, in character. Many wish for the easy life, for themselves, their family and friends. But that is not always the blessing it may at first appear. Quite a few of those failures I have seen were experienced by people for whom things in life just came too easily, they had never been tested in the fire, they knew no real struggles.

Like most people I don’t advocate going out of your way to find struggles, though I have seen some do it. What I do say however, is don’t despair when you find yourself facing struggles of one type or another. Finding your way through is the path of growth, and to me, when you cease growing, you die.

This is not a suggestion to wallow in misery! Far from it. The paths through may be many and varied, sometimes requiring a letting go or seeking a helping hand or two. Sometimes it will require enormous personal efforts, completely alone. Whatever the path, whatever its experience, struggle through for the joy and peace, the fulfilment and security in knowing more of your purpose in life, not merely to be a perpetual struggler or self-styled martyr.

Anyway, enough of my pratter. Here is the parable called "The Butterfly". I hope it feeds your reflections.

A man found a cocoon for a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life.

If we went through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

Not only that, we could never fly.

The author The Butterfly is unknown.

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