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"Everything that Flutters Is Not Gold" - Lessons from the Garden

Updated: Jul 18, 2021

Our second year gardening, we still consider ourselves novices. The learning curve is steep, and nearly everyday we discover something new.

A few weeks ago we noticed an abundance of beautiful white butterflies fluttering around the garden. We ooh'd and ahh'd as they danced about. We even joked about changing the garden name to "The Butterfly Garden". Each day, more and more butterflies entertained us as we marveled at our creation. Veggies, fruits, flowers; everything was in bloom! Of course we attributed such growth to our two "P's", prayer and pollinators.

Our two P's sustain our garden. Sure, we water and weed, trim and prune but without help from the Creator, bees and butterflies, our efforts would be an exercise in futility. However, during this time of great abundance, growth and yes, butterflies; we also noticed one of our crops weren't doing too well. While growing nice and tall, our kale was filled with holes, BIG holes. There was clearly something chomping on our leaves!

I kept an eye out, to see if our issue would remedy itself, but to no avail. We officially had a pest problem. So, this morning, I did what had to be done. With gloves in one hand and shears in another, I made my way to our garden, passed the dancing butterflies, and headed for the kale. Bunch by bunch, I disposed of our damaged crop. But as I began inspecting, I noticed something, CATERPILLARS! Tons of striped caterpillars covered the underside of our kale.

I quickly pulled out my phone and hit "search". In less than 5 minutes, I had identified the enemy as the cross-striped cabbageworm. Known to skeletonize crops like cabbage, kale and brussel sprouts, cabbage worms are great destroyers... and we had an abundance.

I feverishly beheaded the entire crop and disposed of them in sealed bags. Once cut, I continued my research. During my reading, I learned, (to my dismay), that these evil kale killers were the babies of... our BEAUTIFUL FLUTTERING BUTTERFLIES! What an awful discovery. The very thing that appeared to give our garden beauty and majesty, produced the most destructive pest known to our crop.

Once I got over my shock, (and doused the kale remains in neem oil), I was able to take away a valuable lesson. While appearing beautiful on the outside (fluttering butterfly), what it produced (cabbageworm), was an awful byproduct. It reminded me, that while we often focus on our outward appearance, its really our character (what we produce) that matters most. We must be careful not to put so much emphasis on the carnal that we ignore one's character. Because, as the old adage warns, "everything that glitters (flutters), is not gold".

1 Samuel 16:7

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