Had I not be on the ground, literally on my hands and knees, I would not have noticed the difference in the trail surface. Part of the trail was made up of loose dirt while another area of it was packed densely like asphalt. The trail sloped downward.

When I first noticed the caterpillar, it was on the rough, loose dirt. It moved forward and then gravity and the loose dirt caused the caterpillar to roll over, landing on its side. Righting itself, the elongated creature proceeded to move forward across the trail again. This time it landed completely on its back. Once again it righted itself. It moved forward a fraction of an inch only to slide downward and onto its back again.

Eventually through a combination of perseverance and gravity, the caterpillar was on the densely-packed area of the trail. Once it reached dense-pack, the caterpillar quickly reached the other edge of the trail.

I don’t know why the caterpillar crossed the trail but I know it did. It didn’t make it to the other side because it was easy. It didn’t make it to the other side without the protection of circumstance. (If I’d not been nearby, a bird could’ve swooped in to make it dinner.) Of course, where some see luck, I see the involvement of the one I call God.

Perhaps the Divine energy that connects human beings, every rock, each spring wildflower, and the majestic bald eagle persuaded me to pause and marvel at the caterpillar’s journey. Perhaps, in this moment the One who knows all the possibilities that free-will might create used the persuasion available to divinity and lured me to take the most loving action in that moment.

The caterpillar beginsits journey across the trail. Photo by Tim Graves
The caterpillar begins its journey across the trail. Photo by Tim Graves
The caterpillar is the victim of gravity and the shifting ground. Photo by Tim Graves
The caterpillar is the temporary victim of gravity and the shifting ground. Photo by Tim Graves
The caterpillar struggles on the loose ground. Photo by Tim Graves
Rolling back right-side up, the caterpillar continues the struggle to move across the loose ground. Photo by Tim Graves

But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. 5 This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 CEB

3 thoughts on “Why’d the Caterpillar Cross the Trail?

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