Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith - 'Fight Like a Butterfly'

ronniemcbrayer300 orangeKENTUCKY (7/12/14) — Decades ago, while speaking of an upcoming championship bout, Muhammad Ali constructed a poetic couplet of epic proportions.

With glitzy words corresponding to his style both in and out of the ring, “The Greatest” claimed he would “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” because his opponent’s “hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”

Few athletes, maybe no others, have matched Ali’s combination of bravado, proficiency, showmanship, and charisma. Rightly and deservedly, he has more than once been declared the most iconic sporting figure of the previous century. And while I’m not one to tug on Superman’s cape, I’d like to slightly amend his most famous of phrases. I believe that before one can “float like a butterfly,” he or she must fight like one.

You might know the familiar story of a little boy who came upon a cocoon in the forest. He knew exactly what it was, so he snapped off the stick to which it was attached, and took it home. Every day he would watch this little pouch, knowing a remarkable metamorphosis was going on inside.

Then one day it happened. A small tear in the chrysalis appeared, and the butterfly began to emerge. But it was such an awful struggle. The slit was so tiny and the butterfly was now so big. The poor thing was desperately fighting and scratching to get out, and the little boy was so worried about his new little friend.

So, the boy decided to help. He took a pair of school scissors and carefully cut the cocoon open to rescue the exhausted, beautiful butterfly. But it wasn’t beautiful; not at all. It was fat and swollen. Its wings were limp and wilted. Further, over time, it never learned to fly. It could only crawl around in a shoebox, a jar, or wherever the boy placed it.

When the boy told his science teacher this gloomy tale, he was taught an invaluable lesson: The butterfly had to struggle. The butterfly had to face oppositional forces. The butterfly’s laborious effort to emerge from its shell was nature’s way of circulating dormant blood and strengthening new wings. The butterfly’s fight to get out of the cocoon was not an impediment. It was preparation, and the boy’s “help” actually turned out to be a hindrance.

Resistance is required to transform a crawling, ugly insect into a magnificent, winged, flying machine. And what is true in nature, is true of human nature too: Some suffering is necessary. We have to struggle – we must – if we will ever gain the strength we need to fly.

This is anathema to our North American ears, however, because we have constructed a society with a monumentally low threshold for pain. Sadly, such pain-aversion isn’t limited to a small subsection of our culture. It is rampant, extending from playrooms to boardrooms, as present in State Houses as in fraternity houses, and manifesting itself in everything from helicopter-parenting to fiscal irresponsibility.

When a person thinks that he or she should never, under any circumstances, suffer deprivation or discomfort, it doesn’t create character; it creates narcissism. So beware of those for whom everything has come easy; those who have never had to scrape their way through hard times. Beware of those who have always had someone else do the heavy lifting for them and protect them from any and all distress. It’s hard for such a person to have any moral strength.

I’m not advocating for self-inflicted violence. I’m only pointing to the consummate spiritual principle: There is no resurrection without a cross, no greatness without grief, and no strength apart from suffering. The struggle is a necessary process in the maturation process.

When we avoid suffering at all costs, we fail to see that such behavior will cost us everything, for if we cannot tolerate anything that hurts or discomforts us now, we will never become people of faith, character, or maturity later.

With apologies to Ali, we will never “float like a butterfly” until we have learned to fight like one.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,279.74
+13.75 (0.08%)    
2 S&P 2,010.40
-0.96 (-0.05%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,579.79
-13.64 (-0.30%)    
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted

In Other News...

Baptist Health to Celebrate 90 Years of Serving Kentucky

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/19/14) — Birthday parties will break out across Kentucky on Sept. 28 when Baptist Health… Read More

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Sept. 19, 2014

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/19/14) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Friday, Sept. 19. Derek… Read More
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 15, 2014 5917

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 16, 2014 4514

Postal Worker Arrested for Terroristic…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 19, 2014 3669

Madisonville Man Among Three Arrested for…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
September 17, 2014 3366

Two Arrested for Meth After Traffic Stop

in Top Stories by Alex Piper
September 17, 2014 3218

Wanted Man Leads Troopers on Chase…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 17, 2014 3218

Wanted Man Leads Troopers on Chase…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
September 19, 2014 2277

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision at…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Russell Nichols
September 17, 2014 1997

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Top Stories by Kyle Pharris
September 18, 2014 1760

Manitou Man Charged with DUI

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 18, 2014 1632

Vehicle Strikes CSX Train Cars at Crossing

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 19, 2014 626

Police Searching for Hit-And-Run Driver

in Top Stories by Jennifer Smith, DCSO
September 18, 2014 551

Owensboro's Nathan Morris Has Worldwide…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 19, 2014 540

STREET CLOSINGS FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

in Top Stories by Abby Shelton
September 18, 2014 395

9-1-1 Phone Lines

in Top Stories by Michael Hathaway
September 18, 2014 359

Bearcats Return to Owensboro for…

in Top Stories by Kayla Cruse

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 15, 2014 5917

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 16, 2014 4514

Postal Worker Arrested for Terroristic…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 17, 2014 3366

Two Arrested for Meth After Traffic Stop

in Top Stories by Alex Piper
September 17, 2014 1412

Muhlenberg Job Corps Support is 'Written…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 16, 2014 1364

Former 1977 Graduates Speaks at…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06