Friday, June 3, 2011
The Humble Cicada
During this last week, those of us who live in the St. Louis area, have been suddenly bombarded by the screeching of an insect that makes an appearance once every thirteen years. It is the humble, yet ugly, cicada. This somewhat ominous looking insect is harmless. It does not bite. It does not strip trees and mature bushes of its foliage. It simply emerges from the earth where it has lived for the last thirteen years, looks for a mate by creating a near deafening noise in the daytime hours, finds a mate and does what bugs do, then the male dies, the female lays her eggs and dies. This life-cycle is short-lived.
These flying bugs are now with us in the billions. Neighborhoods ring with the mating calls of these creatures. Some go so far as to swoop down at you as you emerge from your home or car. You can see them flying as you go down the highway, many of whom slam into your car, meeting death before they can reproduce. If you look closely at any tree, you will find thousands of the little noise makers dangling from branches and leaves or clinging to the bark. They all seem to sing in chorus at times and the noise can easily drown out the sound of any average sized lawn mower. They are annoying, somewhat creepy, but completely harmless to man and most other creatures.
The other day as I listened to their chorus, something struck me. This lowly little bug, this every thirteen year visitor, is yet another reminder of the greatness of God. He has created an insect that emerges every thirteen years to mate and fill our ears with the natural screech of nature alive and vibrant. These annoying little creatures are doing just what they were meant to do. What purpose they serve is beyond me, but I am quite certain that they do serve something. That is irrelevant to what I am talking about.
Like everything else in nature, beautiful or ugly, dangerous or harmless, big or little, these creatures are unique reminder of the mystery of God Himself. They sing loudly and their song can be seen as a song of praise to their Creator because they are fulfilling the nature He gave them completely. They give us a lesson in humility because these lowly creatures do remind us of our place in the universe. God has elevated all His creatures simply through their existence. Each has a place and each gives glory to Him when they fulfill His will for them.
The next time you hear these little noise makers cry out in the daytime, think of it as praise from nature for the God who created all. Maybe we should join in the chorus by seeking out the will of the Father and finding ways to fulfill that will!