The Value of Struggle

The Parable of the Emperor Moth

Emperor Moth

A scientist was enamored by the glory and beauty of the Emperor Moth.

Its radiant colors, unique patterns and majestic wingspan inspired our scientist to study the moth. Carefully he watched a young caterpillar spin a cocoon and then he removed the cocoon to his laboratory where he could observe the process.

The day finally came that the small crawling caterpillar had become the elegant Emperor Moth and the scientist watched with great excitement as the Moth began to chew its way out of the cocoon. The tiny jaws of the moth chewed at the cocoon trying to exit, but failing it fell back time and again in what seemed to be exhaustion. The scientist watched as the moth worked and failed. He began to imagine the moth speaking to him, "Why don't you help me?"

The moth finally pushed its head out and began to work at pulling the body through the small hole. Each attempt seemed to fail. The progress was so slow that it was basically imperceptible. The scientist looked on beginning to feel guilty for not coming to the rescue of the moth.

The day was coming to an end and the progress was so fractional that the scientist finally could not hold back. With the spirit of a rescue worker, he took his tweezers and carefully opened the cocoon. The moth was free–but so badly deformed it couldn't fly and died soon thereafter.

Later our scientist learned, it is the struggle that shapes the body, forcing fluids out to the majestic wings, giving shape to the giant moth. Without the struggle, without the form resulting from the almost tortuous requirement to pull itself through a small opening in the cocoon, there is no Emperor Moth.

via Eldon Taylor