To Die Daily

A friend posted an excerpt from Winnie the Pooh on Facebook the other day. I believe that was the first time I’ve ever seen any kind of correlation between Pooh and Christ. I also believe she posted it about the death of a child, thus making it the first time I’ve openly wept while scrolling through my Facebook feeds.

“How does one become a butterfly?” Pooh asked pensively. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar,” Piglet replied. “You mean to die?” asked Pooh. “Yes and no” he answered. “What looks like you will die, but what’s REALLY you will live on.” -A.A. Milne

I could point out that in this illustration, I’m a caterpillar, sliding along on the ground, a failure at flight. I might make the comparison to Max Lucado’s series Hermie, in which an ordinary green caterpillar keeps hearing that God isn’t finished with him yet, and has something special in store. I should point out that it clearly illustrates, using natural phenomenon (and fictional characters), being born again – dying to an old life and being born in a new Spirit.

I read it on a few levels, that quote. I read what was written. I read it as an expression of bereavement. I read it as a reminder of my baptism. I read it as an echo of I Corinthians 15:31 “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus; I die daily.” This is part of a discussion Paul is having about resurrection. He says that he faces the threat of death on a daily basis, but more importantly, he dies to sin every day.

What is Christian baptism if not a participation in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ? No matter what your particular denomination thinks of baptism (mine happens to view it as welcoming a new member and symbolizing death to sin), it’s water, it’s rebirth, it’s rising again.

I was baptized at 7 years old. I was aware of my choice, to visually and physically represent my death to sin and my desire to follow Jesus’ example. But, like Paul, I die daily, as I remember that sin didn’t stop at 7, and each day, I have to want to give up being a caterpillar, little better than a slug – enough to wrap myself in a coccoon and trust that upon my emergence, I will fly.

I hold on to sin, gather it around me like a warm blanket, but unless I die daily, give up being grounded by all the weight, I’ll never fly. I have to want it badly. I have to want it desperately. I have to die in order to fly.

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20 responses to “To Die Daily

  1. You should write a blog post titled:

    “The Correlation Between Pooh & Christ”

    I guarantee it will be your highest trafficked post!

    Seriously though, this is really good. “I have to die in order to fly”. It’s one of those paradoxes that really doesn’t make sense until you do it.

  2. This is an amazingly powerful post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. This is my first time visiting your blog and I am very impressed. I am reminded of my own battle with sin (everyone’s really) and the power of grace to help me (us) endure it. Thanks.

  4. I love that quote from Winnie the Pooh. Today is a really big day for me because today is the day that I am totally changing every detail of my life. It’s been months of planning, but today is the day that I am quitting my job in DC and am moving out of the city and on to where God (hopefully) is calling me to right now. I believe we have multiple times throughout our lives where we find ourselves as caterpillars, even after we’ve already been given wings. It’s just like our decision to die daily. We have to decide that we want to let God give us wings and completely change us, over and over again. I’ll be writing a blog about my new move soon, but right now I’m just trying to get through today. :) Love this post and love your heart.

  5. I haven’t paid attention to Winnie the Pooh in years. Maybe I should change that. Good quote, very appropriate for funerals, baptisms, and life.

  6. Kristin,
    This is the first time I visit your blog and I loved your post.
    Great analogy, and you nailed it with the last paragraph.
    BTW, when I read your last line (“I have to die in order to fly”), it also came to my mind that flying is often used as a symbolic representation of freedom. It also applies here.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. I was baptized at 21 years old. It was one of the greatest experiences, and like you, I felt that joy of understanding what it means to be a “new creature”.

    I am always reminded of the great words of Paul when he says, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. That’s true for you and me. Though we live in this body of sin, and our minds serve the law of sin, we can accept that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    That hymn “I’ll fly away” came to mind while reading your post. :)

  8. Excellent post. Great reminder. Love learning/hearing about spiritual truths gleaned from children’s books. :)

  9. Pingback: When a blogger loves words… | Messiah Mom

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