Seeking Immortality

Life Notes—January 17, 2013 

“For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh. The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; and they are soon gone, and we fly away.”

Psalm 90:9-10

The past few winters it was ladybugs.  This winter, box elder bugs.  These harmless, but annoying creatures have invaded our house in impressive numbers.  Typically, I gently but firmly grab the offender and escort it outside to fend for itself, as God intended.  The unlucky ones seen first by my wife meet a quick and flattened end, prior to a burial at sea via the sewer system.  Until recently, I assumed they were seeking immortality, extending their life by a generation or two by surviving a winter meant to kill them.  And who could blame them?  Personally, I do not seek an expedited end to my earthly days; nor do I prefer spending cold nights outside when there is plenty of cozy, warm space inside.  How can I begrudge a box elder bug the desire to extend or improve its buggy existence?

In preparing for this Life Note I did a (very) little research on box elder bugs, and guess what?  They do not typically die in the winter anyway, but hibernate in leaf piles.  When the weather warms in the spring they climb a tree, mate, lay eggs and then proceed to the box elder bug hereafter—not due to the cold winter, but because that is their life cycle as designed by their Maker.  So, our winter visitors have not been seeking immortality, as I first assumed, but simply finding a warmer place to bide their time until mating season.  No doubt, I learned that once upon a time in Biology class.

My initial focus for this Life Note was intended to be that we are all accorded a finite amount of time to live on and from the earth, and that is the natural flow of creation and the course God intended our lives to assume.  At our death we relinquish our place on earth to make room and resources for another life to flourish.  I intended to use the lowly box elder bug seeking immortality as my illustration of consciously going against God’s will and plan.  However, in light of my research it turns out the box elder bugs have not been seeking immortality, but simply attempting to improve the conditions under which they live out the days allotted to them in the God’s grand creation scheme.  Perhaps this week’s lesson is that I need to be less judgmental about the motives of my fellow creatures.  We are all just dealing with life’s challenges the best way we know how.  Be that as it may, box elder bugs caught in our home can expect to miss their mating season in favor of an expedited meeting with their Maker!

Rev. Stan Hughes will preach downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Mitch continues his “Covenant” series at the west campus, where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.

Come home to church this Sunday.  We’ll try not to bug you…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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