Bella White from Pexels via Canva Pro

Photo courtesy of Bella White from Pexels via Canva Pro

Woolly Bear

“Wow, did you see them bookin’ it? They were just squirming with purpose!”

I have always loved a teachable moment. I wanted my boys to experience real life learning in addition to all those books they read. Often, we could be found on the side of the road exploring how corn grew by looking at the stalk or learning weather by standing outside watching the clouds. There have been middle of the night lunar eclipses and meteor showers. There have been trips to the election office to see the voting process. There was even an unfortunate incident between my rear bumper and a tree as I turned around so they could see a live turtle. We take learning pretty seriously, just ask my car.

And there was no exception made when it came to the woolly bear. As we are driving down a country road, enjoying a break from the heat that indicated fall would soon be here, my son asks what all of the black spots are on the road that are moving. In honor of learning tradition, we had to stop and see for ourselves. This is the day they met their first woolly bear caterpillar. They laughed as they watched these adorable fuzzy creatures trek across the road. My older son commented on how fast they were moving and wondered where they were headed in such a hurry. He literally asked why the caterpillar crossed the road.

Of course, we looked it up. Why did the caterpillar cross the road? What we found out as we scoured the computer screen for answers, was that they were looking for a home. They were searching for a place to live so they could transform. My older son smiled and said, “Wow, did you see them bookin’ it? They were just squirming with purpose!”

Weren’t they though. Such smart boys. Now I want to be a woolly bear caterpillar too.

I want to book it looking and searching for home. I want to be motivated in getting closer to Jesus. I want to not walk, but run into purpose, to be overflowing with purpose, to be squirming with it. Squirming with it so much that people can’t help but stop and look and ask why. Those woolly bears were not slackers. They knew the mission and the need and were not letting anything slow them down to get to the place they could transform. I wonder what my life would look like if I were squirming with purpose too.

Now that’s a teachable moment.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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