By Sarah Suleman,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
“The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.”
The souls come to this world for two reasons – to learn and to grow, challenged to grow and become more than what we were before. When a person would actually look into it, we are in fact, seeds. Our body, intellect, personalities and emotions are just as a totality a suit that we wear to meet with the physical world. Hence, just as a seed, we are faced with the challenge to guard ourselves from the harmful, grow from what we used to be, learn and understand the actual purpose of the short span of time we live for.
Struggles, as most of us don’t realize, is eventually what brings us to meet the light. Just as the butterfly needs to struggle to pass through its cocoon in order to have a healthy body with blooming wings, the seed needs to face the challenge of finding its way out from the dirt and darkness and to reach the light in order to grow.
A man had once found a cocoon of a butterfly from which a hole appeared. He sat, fascinated while watching the butterfly struggle to pass its body through the tiny hole for several ours, until it stopped making progress completely. It appeared to have gone as far as it could go, unable to go any farther. The man decided to help the butterfly overcome its challenge. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon that the butterfly was struggling to pass through. The butterfly then emerged easily, but with a swollen body, and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly in the expectation that sometime soon, the wings would expand, allowing the body to be supported. But it didn’t happen. In fact, the butterfly spent of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
In the same way, if our souls, as mere seeds, were not made to face and endure struggles and were permitted to spend our lives with out any obstacles, we would cripple. If we hadn’t been through all the rough challenges, we would not be as strong as we could’ve been. The struggle was what brought us to the light, the light of God.
Just as a seed needs to be protected from predators, human beings must learn to protect themselves and each other from those in the service of the negative power, who would co-opt them for their own needs. Like a seed that needs to be protected from storms, human beings must guard themselves and others from the instability of life.
Like the seed that must be protected from flooding, souls in human form need to be careful of the effects of too much material consumption, which generally leads people to value commodities instead of themselves. A seed, however also needs to be protected from drought and in the same way, souls need to guard themselves from giving up when faced with struggles, our souls need to be strong enough to prevent the drought that may attack them, if not strong enough in their faith.
We must keep in mind at all times that struggle is what makes us stronger, healthier and what allows us to grow to a better form, from what we had been before. If we stay strong during the struggle that tests our faith on an everyday basis, we will undoubtedly grow closer to our Lord, growing more spiritually aware of what we’re actually here for. As we grow, just like seeds, we become something other than what we were before. We move from being just a potential to an actualized being who knows its own power and worth, and who can fulfill our role in this world.