In worship services I’ve led this month, I have focused on the theme of acceptance of life changes and how they can be a vehicle for transformation. Some changes we love and welcome, like getting married, a better job etc., and others we struggle with greatly, such as the breakup of a relationship, death of a parent, etc. And sometimes, we’re not sure what is happening or where we are going, but we just know something is changing and, rather than resist, we embrace it. That’s not so common with humans, but is totally normal in nature.
So here’s a story I’ve shared with children at the worship services. It is written and illustrated by Matthew Schildkret.
It’s the story of Micah, the caterpillar, who, as all caterpillars do, spent his time eating day and night. But one morning, Micah’s eyes drifted away from leaves onto the distant mountains, and all Micah could do was imagine what was beyond this tree. Micah felt a change inside for the first time, and then decided to leave the safe, comfortable tree and explore this feeling inside.
On the first day of the journey, Micah walked sixty-four thousand, seven hundred and three steps before crossing through the Majestic Mountains. The moon glowed through the clouds, when suddenly something quickly flew by Micah, ”buzz buzz buzz..” It was a bumblebee! ”You are a long way from home for a slow Caterpillar. What brings you all the way out to the Green Forest?” asked the Bumblebee.
Micah took a moment and said, ”I felt a change inside and decided to go explore beyond my tree.”
The Bumblebee sucked out some nectar from the flower and said, ”You will never change, you will always be a slow caterpillar.”
”I may be slow, but CHANGE I WILL” said Micah.
One hundred and thirty-six thousand slow steady steps later, in the Green Forest, Micah heard another sound coming from a mysterious looking flower sitting next to a funny little mushroom. Micah saw a Cricket playing beautiful music. When the music stopped Micah asked, ”How can I make those beautiful sounds?”
”Oh Darlin’, it’s impossible! You do not have legs long enough to make any sounds. You’re just a quiet caterpillar.” replied the Cricket.
Micah felt the change even stronger after the cricket said he could never play music. ”One day I will make music! I may be quiet but CHANGE I WILL!” insisted Micah.
Micah had travelled a long long way and was now very tired. It was not long before this curious courageous slow quiet tired caterpillar had built a comfortable cocoon. Micah said, “CHANGE I WILL” and then fell into a deep sleep. Pretty soon, magical dreams began. In one dream, Micah grew rainbow colored wings one hundred times the size of the bumblebee’s wings.
A wise owl who had been following Micah said, “you are no longer a slow quiet tired caterpillar but a courageously colorful, big beautiful butterfly! Who can now flap your musical wings and zip anywhere you wish to go.”
Micah looked at the two magical new wings and shouted with excitement, ”I changed! I knew I would, I could feel it inside. Micah’s wings fluttered fast in the wind, creating a sweet melody. He yelled with excitement, “CHANGE I ALWAYS WILL!”