My sun porch

My sun porch

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cicada Lessons

Samuel Orr, a filmmaker.  Published May 28, 2013, Youtube.

"O Lord, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures." -- Psalms 104:24

They were crawling all over me yesterday at two outside parties I attended on Memorial Day, and they creeped me out! I had flashbacks of when I was 15 and Doug Trout and Darren Cummings put a shell down my shirt and scarred me for life! Yesterday,as we sat in the shade of a large tree, there were times the song of these creepy creatures were louder than our conversation. They really are strange critters, with their weird red eyes.

As we sat there complaining about them, a friend said that he thought they were a tribute to the power, mystery and reliability of God. Those bugs KNOW to crawl out of the ground every 17 years...not 16, not 18, not 12, but 17 years. You can COUNT on them. 

Contemplate the mystery. People across the world and over thousands of years have also contemplated them. The cicada is a sacred animal in their Chinese culture, and they are considered to be a symbol of resurrection and rebirth.  An Italian myth describes a story of a young woman with a beautiful voice. It is said that her voice was so beautiful that when she died, the gods missed her voice so much, they allowed her to return to earth every so often as a cicada so she could continue to sing to them. There is also an ancient Greek ode to the cicada that says, "We call you happy, O cicada, because after you have drunk a little dew from the treetops you sing like a queen."

Puts a little different spin on the creepiness of them, doesn't it? I watched the video I posted above, and was also touched by the life cycle of the cicada. They live underground for 17 years and emerge with one hatch, mate and continue the life cycle. I love the picture of thousands of them marching UP the tree...reaching up as far as they can. Some die before they reach their goal. Some never make it out of their shell. But...some make it out and spend the rest of their short out of the ground lives searching for their purpose and sing, sing sing!

I have seen the cicada phenomenon twice before in my life, but this year it has come to mean more to me. Maybe because I realize I have less time left in my life, or maybe I just think too much. But, I want to use the example of that weird, creepy little creature in my own life. I want to keep searching for my purpose, march onward and upward, marvel in the mystery, power and reliability of God and sing, sing sing!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

An invitation


"There I will go to the altar of God, to God - the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God." -- Psalm 43:4

My practice in the morning is to turn on my music to get me going. I listen in the bathroom as I get ready. I listen as I eat my breakfast, and I even listen as I am doing my devotional time. In the morning, it is always inspirational music that calms my soul. However, this morning, I am again thinking about quiet...and focus.

I had a conversation with a friend last night about Sabbath...the need to rest. This morning I am again thinking about fasting from social media for at least one day a is such a distraction for me! I know that I know this, but I can't seem to do anything about it! My morning devotional had me look up the verse from Psalms above. As I read it, it seemed like an invitation to me. So, I turned off the music and just remained QUIET for a few minutes.

In that moment of quiet, God gave me the sweetest music I could need, a bird was right outside my window singing boldly in the early morning light. It was beautiful! I was reminded that I don't need social media or my Pandora music station to get me going! God provides what I need! He is my source joy!

Oh, Lord, thrill my heart with you today. Be my joy and delight! Please help me clear my life, my mind, my heart and my soul from all the many distractions I allow and I create in my life. Encourage me to be QUIET once in a while...more often...and know that you are God and give me everything I need! Thank you Lord for the invitation you sent me this morning! It has been gladly accepted! Amen.