There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. (R. Buckminster Fuller)
I think there are many butterflies waiting to emerge in this world! All the while, we are crawling around, on our way to becoming something of great beauty and majesty, but have no clue just how that will be accomplished. We do what we know to do - live the life of the caterpillar! I don't know if caterpillars "sense" the time has come for change, but I think God helps us to be able to "sense" there is a change occurring in our lives. It is his grace at work and we cannot deny something is happening, even when we don't know it is that we are taking on the beauty and freedom of the butterfly!
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. (Romans 12:2 TLB)
I don't understand why God made the caterpillar. Why couldn't he just make the butterfly? Why can't butterflies give birth to other butterflies? We may never understand the "why" behind the caterpillar, but maybe it is just so we can ponder what it is to be one way and then in almost unrecognizable fashion, we are another. Maybe it is to help us realize we are not bound to our past - we can be a new creation. Perhaps it is to give us a tiny glimpse into the "soul" of our Creator - coming to know his desire to make old things new, beautiful, and free to soar!
The caterpillar way of living is pretty slow when it comes to making progress from one point to another. A couple of summer's back I took a southerly route to California. That route took me through some of the area of desert known for this "migration" of caterpillars (big ones). There was a patch of highway that was just yellow with their crawling little bodies. No matter how many would succumb to the passing of tire upon tire, they still came from one side of the desert on their way to some other point. Their slowness - their crawling speed - made them prey for not only the motor vehicles, but for the spying eye of the birds above.
It made me think about the times we need to get from one place in life to another - knowing the journey to be slow and maybe even subject to a little bit of an obstacle along the way. The slowness by which we progress is sometimes a measurement of how "bound" we are to this earth. We don't really know any other way of "progressing" than to just continue to crawl! Somehow, at the end of that journey, we curl up for a while inside a cozy little place with God and what emerges is this amazing "butterfly". God knows we desire to get to where we are going - he also knows we probably all desire to be making progress at a different pace than we have been making, but he lets us experience the pace of the old so we can fully enjoy the boundless freedom of the new! Just sayin!