Spiritual Side Brad Butler

I flipped on CNN and Anderson Cooper was interviewing the CEO of Starbucks. He said, “You were hired in 2008 because your company had begun to spiral downward. What did you do to turn things around?” Howard Schultz replied, “I implemented a transformation agenda.”

One of the most amazing processes in nature is watching an ugly green caterpillar construct a cocoon around itself, effectively die, and then come back to life as a beautiful multi-colored butterfly.

My pastor once said in a sermon, “I know a lot of 18-year-old men and I know a lot of 40-year-old boys.”

Am I just rambling or is there a connection between these three statements?

Let’s go back to the butterfly. Have you ever wondered why God went to all the trouble of making that whole three-step process? Why didn’t he just make it a butterfly to start with? Was he maybe, just maybe, trying to teach us something about the process of becoming a Christian?

Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be my disciple he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” That sounds a lot like a three-step process to me.

Romans 12:2 says, “No longer be conformed to the pattern of this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It sounds like both God and Starbucks CEO think that a “transformation agenda” is needed to get the desired results.

A rich, young ruler approached Jesus one day and said, “What must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus told him, “Go, sell all your possessions, give the money to the poor and come follow me.” He turned and walked away sad. He wasn’t looking for a three-step transformation agenda. He didn’t really want to have to “change.” I’m sure Jesus was sad, too. He had big plans for this guy.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old things pass away, behold, all things become new.”

My cousin Leslie embraced God at an AA meeting when she was 31 years old. She went from being a caterpillar with lipstick to a gorgeous butterfly. It’s been a beautiful thing to watch.

Howard, you did a good job copying God’s idea. No wonder there’s a Starbucks on every corner!

• PGA Pro Brad Butler sees people changing at Mountain Park Community Church in Ahwatukee.

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