The Promise of Return

Monarch Butterfly
Photo by Peter Miller on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND-2.0

One of the greatest natural events on Earth is now underway: the migration of the monarch butterfly.

Each fall, millions of these colourful insects set off from their summer breeding grounds in the northeastern U.S. and Canada for a gruelling journey. They travel thousands of miles across North America all the way to Mexico, where they’ll spend the winter.

Many people believe that the monarch butterflies which leave in the fall are the same ones which arrive back in the spring, but this isn’t so. Individual butterflies don’t make the entire round-trip journey. The ones which migrate from the northeastern part of North America in fall will never return.

Rather, their great-great-grandchildren are the ones who will arrive the following spring, as successive generations keep making their way north. The entire annual migration cycle of the monarch takes about four generations.

Perhaps I’m being fanciful, but I can imagine monarch butterflies telling their children of the awesome journey they’ll be undertaking. They may say that they’ll only be able to go part of the way with them, but to keep the faith and keep going.

Maybe they encourage their children to tell successive generations to keep believing in the promise of return. Because eventually, their descendants will see the promise fulfilled.

Aren’t we in a similar situation as believers?

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What Geese Can Teach Us

Canada Geese Flying
Photo by David Mark on Pixabay

Usually, the first signs of fall are visual: the leaves on trees start to redden, the fall asters begin blooming, and the sun is at a noticeably lower angle.

But sometimes you can hear the onset of fall.

Today at The Faith Cafe we could hear the sound of Canada geese honking at each other as they flew overhead, preparing to fly south for the winter. They’ll fly to warmer climes in their iconic V-formation, honking the whole trip.

But why do they honk at one another as they undertake their momentous journey, and why fly in a V-shape at all?

The lessons geese can teach us have long been used in leadership seminars, but I think they apply to our Christian walk as well.

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