During the first days, when only the animals roamed the earth, there was a young caterpillar. Every day he would sit on his branch, munching on a leaf and watch as all the other animals made their way past his tree. birds would swoop by and say hello, ladybugs and bees buzzed over to share stories of the creations. The caterpillar himself, wished he could fly one day so he could visit these wonderful creations that he heard of.
One night, the caterpillar was sat on his branch looking to the stars and he prayed. “God, please give me wings.” And God replied, ‘Why do you want wings little one?” He answered, “So I may fly!” God’s response then was simply, “Then have patience.”
Filled with expectancy the caterpillar woke the next day eagerly stretching, but there were no wings.
Again the next day, he woke and stretched. And still no wings. Days passed by, and every day he would wake only to be disappointed. He would then crawl back towards the edge of the tree to eat and watch as the other animals flew by. Every night he would beg, praying to God, “Please give me wings.” God’s answer never changed, “Patience.”
The caterpillar grew frustrated and one night snapped,” I have been! But nothing has happened!” After this there was no reply. The next day, he was not seen at the edge of his tree munching away at leaves. He was not there to say hello to the flying birds, and he was not there to listen to the stories of ladybugs or bees. And at night, no prayers were heard from his tree.
Three days had passed before God came down to coax the upset caterpillar out to the edge of his tree. God asked him, “Why do you sit and sulk?” The caterpillar, at first was taken aback but responded, “You stopped answering.” God responded, “I answered you.” The caterpillar huffed now, “No, you kept saying have patience. And I did! But here I am still with no wings!” Upset, the caterpillar began to weep feeling sorry for himself.
God reached out and cradled the poor caterpillar in His warm hands. “You had patience. But now you need faith.” At the soft tone, the caterpillar felt his heart soften. He replied, “Then will I have wings?” God returned him to his tree, “Hold on to your patience little friend. And have faith that when the time is right, I will answer you again.”
The caterpillar waited once more. He was back to his routine of crawling out to the edge of the tree, eating more leaves and greeting whoever passed his tree. He would watch the clouds as they flew and reminded himself once more to have patience.
One morning, God called out to the caterpillar, “Hello my friend.” The caterpillar crawled out and greeted Him, “Hullo!” God reached out his hand again, “I have returned.” The caterpillar called out excitedly, “I have been waiting!” God smiled warmly at him and asked, “Do you have faith in me little one?” And immediately he answered,” Yes Lord. I do.” God then replied, “Hold on to that faith. And have patience once more.” And He covered the caterpillar gently with his other hand. Covering the little caterpillar in darkness. And with nothing else to do, he slept.
When he awoke, God greeted him with a brilliant smile. “Good morning little one! Your patience has been rewarded!” At first, the caterpillar just shook himself to be rid of the last bits of sleepiness. But then froze, shocked. He had wings! Beautiful, delicate and brightly colored wings! He fluttered them slowly, carefully afraid that this was all a dream. Oh! But the feeling of floating was so wonderful and the warm sun that filtered through the colors of his wings was real.
He fluttered through the air, savoring the feelings of the wind as it tickled his face, gliding graceful and smooth over the soft flower petals. Flying higher now, he looked down and saw over his tree. In the distance he could see mountains, and more flowers of different colors, more animals and there was so much more. Fluttering back to God he wept so happily. “Thank you.” God smiled and swept him up in his hands, “Don’t rush little one. You learned patience, now you must never forget it.” And he never did.
Have you ever seen a butterfly as it fluttered through the air? They seem to float, wings so delicate they could almost pass as a flower petal flowing through the air. They are never in any big hurry or any rush. They seem to take their time as they fly, sometimes stopping and bathing in the fresh sun on a sweet smelling flower. If you ever have the chance, stop for a while. Breath in and watch the patient little butterfly. Every butterfly learns patience, and no matter where they go they never forget to take it with them.