Nourishing our Faith: a Lesson from Nature
Fall at camp means that I get the opportunity to get out of the office and onto our ropes courses most weeks. Last week had a particularly memorable day on the course.
It was one of those fall days where you show up in the morning to set up in a winter coat and stocking camp. Once lunch rolls around, you have shed most layers down to shorts and a t-shirt and are wondering how you got to that point in the day.
We all know those days. We all also know what else comes on those warm fall days. Let’s talk about the Orius insidiosus, or more commonly known, the minute pirate bug.
These small little black bugs are around us from spring to fall whether we realize it or not.
On warm fall days, they make their presence known by biting humans. The worst part is, there is currently no insect repellent that works against them.
So why do they bite us only in fall, even though they are around all spring and summer as well?
The purpose behind the bite is all about survival.
The minute pirate bug feeds most of the year on thrips, aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, whiteflies, caterpillars, and the eggs of other insects.
In fall, that food supply has dwindled and either no longer exists, or has gone into their winter homes until next spring. So, the minute pirate bug starts biting at things that it normally wouldn’t, all to try and survive with one last meal before winter.
When their life water goes dry, they lash out to try to get whatever they can just to stay alive. Doesn’t this sound exactly like our faith?
Camp, whether that be summer camp, a weekend retreat, or even just an hour visit into the woods, can be a great life source for our faith.
Oftentimes, guests leave feeling filled and renewed with the Holy Spirit and their spiritual cuppie will be overflowing.
But what happens to us when we feel drained, or like we haven’t been filled with the Living Water of Christ in a few months? We, too, will lash out and start trying to find things to fill that void, even though we know they will not help us.
Minute pirate bugs gain nothing from biting humans, but it is a natural reaction to just try to find any life source they can to get fed.
When we are spiritually hungry, what do we turn to instead of Christ? What do we try to subsidize Jesus with that we know in the long run, will not keep us fed?
Take some time to reflect and refocus this fall season.
When we feel empty, don’t be like the minute pirate bug lashing out at things that won’t sustain you. Instead, turn to Christ who assures us that with the water that He gives, we will never go thirsty again.