living outside the cocoon
by halley low

life in Christ is like the life of a caterpillar after it emerges from it’s cocoon transformed into something new and beautiful. the transformation takes place within the silent stillness of the cocoon, but if the caterpillar doesn’t break out of the cocoon and fly up into the sunlight, the beauty of its wings will never be realized, and the freedom of its new life never experienced. it will never embrace the flowers, drinking of their nectar and assisting them in their process of pollination. if it chooses to stay in the silent safety of the cocoon the caterpillar will have only lived half a life. if it chooses to stay in the cocoon it will separate itself from life and die of hunger.

sadly, too many people follow the path of the reluctant caterpillar, crawling along until they find a comfortable spot then wrapping themselves in a private cocoon. within their personal cocoon they “get stuck”, perhaps by fear or hurt, yet whatever the reason their transformation stops short of realization, and inwardly they die of hunger a little more each day.

this is sad, for Christ came that we might have “life abundantly”. through His resurrection Jesus broke out of the cocoon and bids us to follow Him into the process of living abundantly; as life in abundance can only be lived outside of the cocoon. to stay in the cocoon is to remain separated and isolated, to live outside the cocoon is to live in connection and relationship.

living in connection is living in reciprocity. living in connection with the whole of creation means being part of something greater than oneself. living in connection with God empowers us to move from one point of being to a new point of being progressively, and not just for our individual sakes but for all that we touch in the interactive process of living in Christ. think about the butterfly, it takes life in the form of nectar from the flower and gives new life in the form of pollination to flowers yet to unfold. this is Christ’s invitation to all people – to break out of the old, to live boldly in the new, to take each moment as an opportunity to give and through the giving received more then we had before.

the essence of a christian life is a life that is connected, interactive and inter-dependent. no one can be a christian in isolation. Jesus didn’t come to guide us in a way of individualistic or narcissistic mysticism; He came to create a new and universal community, to open eyes that have been blinded by self-centeredness in order to see the glory of God that surrounds us and to take part in that glory, to heal hearts of loneliness by giving of Himself that we may have life and have it abundantly.

living in Christ is not about sitting in the corner reciting “praise Jesus” all day, rather living in Christ is about engaging life in all its grandeur, and even its brokenness, for engagement is true praise. living in Christ is about being part of the process of healing and transformation that flows from the heart of God manifesting in our actions. this is why when Jesus was told that His mother and brothers were waiting for Him, He responded “my mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” the word of God is active and creative and calls us to action, not to standing about waiting, but to be connected to the work of God – for God’s word and God’s work are one. “be not a hearer of the word but a doer”, follow Jesus out of the cocoon and live connected that you may have an abundant life; remembering that abundance is not about quantity but quality. for as a wise man said long ago – “it is in giving that we receive, in forgiving that we are forgiven, and in dying to self that we are born to true life”.

© 2011 halley low

check out halley's blog - "sane living in a crazy world"-

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