Walking In Circles

Published November 2, 2014 by admin in Articles

The noted French naturalist, Jean Henri Fabré studied the pine processionary caterpillar in great detail. He observed that these caterpillars would follow a lead caterpillar in a single-file line. This behaviour is not only the reason why it was given its name, but it can also be a deadly characteristic.

Consider an experiment that Fabré conducted with some processionary caterpillars. He took a flowerpot and placed a number of caterpillars in single-file around the circumference of the pot’s rim. Each caterpillar’s head touched the caterpillar in front of it. Fabré then placed the caterpillars’ favorite food in the middle of the circle created by the caterpillars’ procession around the rim of the flowerpot. Each caterpillar followed the one ahead thinking that it was heading for the food.

Round and round went those silly insects – for seven days! After a week of this mindless activity, the caterpillars started to die because of exhaustion and starvation. All that they had to do to avoid death was to stop the senseless circling of the flowerpot and head directly toward the food that was less than six inches away from those ever-circling crawlers. However, the processionary caterpillars were locked into this lifestyle and couldn’t extricate themselves from this mindless behavior.

Caterpillars aren’t the only ones that can wander in circles.  We need direction, too! Long ago, the prophet Jeremiah declared: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer. 10.23). Jesus asked, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6.39).

So many people wander around aimlessly, wondering about the purpose of life. Some attempt to validate their lifestyles by seeking legitimacy in the approval of the crowd. Others find meaning and purpose in certain activities, but they are headed for a ditch! Really there are only two ways to travel: the broad way or the narrow way.

This is why Jesus challenged, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7.13-14).

Stop walking in circles; it’s a dead end! Follow Jesus and He will lead you to life eternal! [-Adapted, BTW]

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