A Voracious Appetite!

Marc is our family gardener! He lives in a climate that allows for two growing seasons and he takes advantage of both. In just four boxes on top of the ground, he grows tomatoes, green beans, melons, squash, radishes, carrots, hot peppers and of course, okra, a Texan's favorite! (Please check out this previous blog article - http://www.mjkministries.com/2018/08/an-okra-gardener_54.html) Some could say Marc has a "green thumb!" Yet, you would be mistaken to think that his gardening successes are nothing more than plant, grow and harvest. Marc takes great pains to keep at bay all the weeds and critters that come to share in his bounty!
"Tobacco Hornworm"
Not a gardener's friend!

One pesky intruder turned up with several comrades this season and went to work immediately on any and everything that had a leaf or fruit on it! Especially, the tomato plants! Marc thought at first that this was a tomato herbivore, but after some research, he identified this particular species as a "Tobacco Hornworm." (And no, Marc does not grow any tobacco products!) During the larva stage, the hornworm eats and grows a lot. They can strip a plant of its foliage in a matter of hours. The caterpillar displays this voracious appetite in order to store energy for the chrysalis or cocoon phase of its metamorphosis into a moth or butterfly. 

I recently watched the classic children's story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle on YouTube. The story recounts in a cute and entertaining way how a caterpillar throughout a week ate everything in sight, but... "he was still hungry!" He ate and ate until he was "a big fat caterpillar!" Later, he would become a "beautiful butterfly!" Carle develops two general themes in the story. One is growth and the other is transformation or change. These are applicable to the Christian life. We are in a process of spiritual formation and transformation into Christlikeness.

Growth and change! I like the way Carle depicts the importance of growth on the way toward transformation. There is a lot about motivation in the phrase, "he ate, but he was still hungry!" The Bible uses similar language when the Psalmist invites, "Taste (experience) and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8). Jesus spoke of the blessing that was in store for those who "hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Mt. 5:6). Paul was quite specific in giving a six-fold description for how a believer is to focus his thinking, "whatever is true...noble...right...pure...lovely...admirable...think about such things" (Phil. 4:80.) Those who are growing in the faith are like the hungry caterpillar in this sense; they have a voracious appetite for the things of God. They eat and eat, and yet, they are still hungry for more!

We see a lot that is not right in our world. We want things to be different. But what is the answer? Some will complain and do nothing more. Others will act and try to make a difference. I have always tried to encourage action. If not, we are like a person who comes into a dark room only to state the obvious, "Wow! It sure is dark in here!" Another person can come into the same room and simply turn on the light switch. That action changes things immediately! How often would a change of understanding contribute to a change in our surroundings? 

How are you growing in the things that matter to God? Are you "hungry" to know His will, His plan for your life? That's a good starting point! Do you have a growing appetite for righteousness, justice, and love for others? Do you desire to promote hope? I think it serves us better to think of these things rather than to simply "curse the darkness!" Let's adopt a better strategy for change by showing an increasing appetite for all that is good!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


  1. We should never lose hope, for God is our refuge and strength. Keep praying for justice and peace.

  2. Great insights on preparing for change! May we all morph!


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