Life is a process of becoming. A caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. A maggot mutates into a fly. A teen morphs into adulthood. Creation is in a process of transforming, mutating, morphing—becoming.
This becoming, however, is harder than it seems, especially for young leaders in the church. As young leaders, there is a burning God-given desire in all of us to be more than we are today. My pastor calls this desire a “holy dissatisfaction.” We are content in our relationship with Jesus Christ and His blessings, but we are not satisfied at our current level of productivity. Our talents and abilities are destined by God to grow into maturity and perform at an optimum level, but in our current state we are unrefined and awkward. We are the caterpillar inching our way around, nibbling on leaves, anxiously waiting to be transformed into something more . . . more beautiful.
So we wait. We live. We learn. We lead. Aspirations exasperate. Potential frustrates. Pressures mount. If only we could rush the process. If only we could hit fast forward and skip to the good part of the story. If only we weren’t so young with so much to learn. We are going to be stunning someday . . . right?
Yes. “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NKJV, emphasis mine).
Did you know that it only takes a maggot six days to mutate into a fly? A caterpillar, on the other hand, usually emerges from a cocoon after a year-long process of change. Depending on weather conditions some caterpillars stay in the cocoon two to five years before becoming a butterfly.
Maggot + days = fly. Caterpillar + year(s) = butterfly.
The length of the process determines what we become. The longer we allow our lives to be shaped by our current life circumstances, the better the end result will be. When we rush this process we forgo the very cocoon that God is using to transform us.
For heaven’s sake, don’t rush the process.
Believe me; I know it’s tempting to want to rush the process. I feel like I’m walking in waist-deep manure most of the time: it’s hard to move forward and everything around me stinks. But I just hold my nose and endure the stench. With patience and persistence Jesus will somehow makes sense of our efforts. Give it time.
Thankfully, God’s grace (and the grace of our followers) allows us the opportunity to lead while we’re learning. “Don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given . . . keep that dusted off and in use” (1 Timothy 4.11-13, MSG).
This is the becoming. Be patient. Live. Learn. Lead. Become. Destiny will be waiting.