I've run 20 miles so far this week and it's only Thursday. I am planning to run at least 2 of these last 3 days. Would love to hit 30 miles. We'll see.
The baseball team plays this Saturday at Noon. We found out last night that we play the Rangers. They beat us during the regular season due to one bad inning of fielding on our part. That was a while back and I am hopeful that our improvement since then will help us prevail. If we win, we play in the championship on Sunday. If we lose, we play earlier Sunday afternoon and will have to win a triple-header to get the championship. Uggh. Go White Sox!
So I've heard 13 is an unlucky number. Why is that? No 13th floor in hotels. I always thought that was weird growing up. I mean I understand superstitions, but skipping an entire floor name?? That seems extreme. Maybe the reason 13 is unlucky is related to a certain creature that emerges every 13 years. Say it with me......the CICADAS! Now, if you are reading this in another part of the country, you have no idea what I'm talking about. But down here in this here South, we got 'em. And we got 'em big. There always seem to be more each time they come. I've heard a few people say they don't remember them from 13 years ago. But I sure do. In fact, I remember them from 26 years ago. It's funny, my son is in 3rd grade this year - the first time he is experiencing the Cicadas. And I was also in 3rd grade the first time I did as well. I remember...
I was 9 years old. I remember playing on the playground, the same playground I now often supervise. I remember being scared of them but very curious as well. Carter is the same way. He is terrified if one lands on him, especially anywhere near his face. (Max on the other hand isn't scared at all. He would probably jump into a vat of cicadas if I asked him to). I remember picking them up on the playground, pulling their heads off, throwing them at friends, basically the same things my sixth graders are doing now. But I also remember being at a church dinner outside (why we had a dinner outside during cicada season I'll never know). I was sitting at a table eating when I felt something strange inside my nice Sunday pants. You guessed it - one was crawling up my leg and he had made it to the knee area. I freaked. I remember wanting to smash it but I didn't want cicada guts all inside my pants. My dad had to quickly roll up my pants to get it out but there may have been some tears that day. Skip ahead 13 years.....
I remember my 2nd encounter when I was 22 years old. I remember mowing my parents yard and hating it. The mower was like a cicada-love-shouting-machine. They flocked to me. They landed on me. One crawled up my pant leg......AGAIN! 9 year old church dinner memories came flooding back. This time I had to get it out myself. By the way, I did say pants. I was wearing long pants, long-sleeve shirt, a hat, and a scarf of some sort, all trying to keep them off my body. It was 95 degrees. I looked like an idiot. But I hated those things. Skip ahead 13 more years.
I'm now 35 and this is my 3rd visit from those red-eyed pests. But you know what's weird? They don't bother me this time. Yes, the noise is annoying and yes they are taking over our 3 new trees given to us when Griffin died (trying to keep those trees alive - we love them.) But I don't mind them landing on me anymore. The other day I was driving when I felt something crawling up the back of my neck. 9 year old or even 22 year old me would've crashed right then and there. (I guess 9 year old would crash anyways being that he's 9 driving a car). But not 35 year old me. I just simply reached back, grabbed him and threw him out the window. No big deal. I guess I've really grown up in these last 13 years. Well, I guess not in some ways, but in cicada handling I certainly have. But I've seen lots of posts and heard lots of comments about how some people hate them. And I understand why. They can be annoying. So I have to ask the common question.....Why?
My wife Susan has always said when she gets to Heaven, she's going to ask God about mosquitoes. Why? What is the point in that little creation. Have to agree with her there.Mosquitoes are nothing but annoying although I'm sure they serve some purpose. Just can't find it. I guess we could all ask the same thing about cicadas. Why God? What's the purpose? Wouldn't it so much nicer and certainly quieter without them? One answer, although I don't think it's the main answer is what I read in the paper a few weeks ago. The cicadas do aerate the soil around the trees helping them to get nutrients and oxygen they need. Also, their eventual dead bodies provide great fertilizer for the trees. I've also read where some people eat them and they are nutritional. (No thanks from this guy.) The best of all for me? They make great bearded dragon food. My students have loved feeding them to my classroom pet, Jack. And he LOVES them! So I've got free food for him for several weeks. So they are technically saving me money. But I still don't think any of those reasons are the main reason why God created them.
I think he created cicadas to show his power and if you think about it, they certainly do. How amazing is it that these things live in the ground for 13 years and come up all at the same time. How amazing is it that they all chirp together and even increase volume together. How amazing is it that they know exactly what to do even though they only live 6 weeks. How amazing is it that there are millions of them right now and in a couple of weeks, there will be none. I like cicadas because they remind me of God. They remind me that He's in charge. When I'm at Griffin's grave and am just "being still and know," I hear them and I hear God. I mentioned that in a previous post and had a great talk with a friend that says she now loves their sound and thinks of God every time she hears them. I do too.
God is amazing. God is powerful. God is in control and I want to completely surrender to him and let him take over my life. I don't always do a good job of that. But I always try and I encourage you to do the same. I like cicadas this time. I think they are fascinating and they don't bother me. And they keep me focused on what's important. Now you don't have to like cicadas. God doesn't care. But He does care about you and He wants you to surrender to Him. Will you?
I love Griffin and I love God.
Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)