A Monarch Mind

Even though I do not visit very often, I enjoy a walk through Botanica. The dedication of the many volunteers and dedicated staff is apparent in the beauty that surrounds the sidewalk path that snakes its way through this wonder of Wichita. A seasonal attraction I really enjoy is the butterfly house and 50 some species that are available for observation.

One species that is easily identified is the Monarch butterfly. Like all butterflies, the Monarch passes through 4 life stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis phase), and adult. In a brief period of 28 to 30 days it morphs from egg to adult.

You can say that through metamorphosis, a butterfly goes from mush (chrysalis) to majesty (adult butterfly), in an incredibly short time. A YouTube video shows it taking just 1 1/2 minutes.

Metamorphosis is a theme mentioned several times in the New Testament. Once such place is in Romans 12:2 where Paul speaks of the transformation of the mind. Instead of being conformed to the image and philosophy of the world, we are admonished to be transformed by a renewing of the mind.

To effectively renew the mind a person may need to take a self assessment and clarify his values. Ask yourself: Are my values aligned with my life goals, the organization I serve, and most importantly with Scripture? If not, then change may be in order.

It has been said that values are caught and taught. Some values, like an infectious disease, are caught but are detrimental to our well-being. Other values, however, need to be captured and passed on because of their virtuous nature.

If a person is serious about renewing his mind a good place to start is with the Beatitudes and a commitment to practice these principles that were taught by Jesus. Yes, I did say practice, because it will take some self-discipline.

Steady and unwavering discipline to these principles will lead to a renewed mind and some healthy habits. Aristotle said:

“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”

I hope we can all undergo a little metamorphosis and experience a renewing of the mind.

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