What is a Black Prince, Double Drummer, Floury Baker, Green Grocer or Yellow Monday? A cicada!
In the bush your ears can be assaulted by these insects – the loudest in the world. In some species, noise levels reach 120 decibels, close enough to the pain threshold of the human ear. Male cicadas make all the noise – attracting females and discouraging birds, bats, wasps, ants and spiders from including them on their menu. The male cicada has a pair of ribbed membranes on its lower belly called tymbals. When a cicada contracts it’s belly, the tymbals buckle inwards and make a sound. When it relaxes, the tymbals pop back to their original position. (To listen to cicadas, click here: cicadas in the Australian bush)
These amazingly loud creatures only live for a few weeks above ground. They spend most of their lives underground. The female lays eggs in plant stems. The eggs hatch into nymphs (small wingless cicadas), fall to the ground and burrow beneath the surface. There they feed on root sap and keep shedding their skin as they grow. Aussie species (of which there are over 200) spend about 6-7 years underground. When fully grown, the nymph digs to the surface and climbs onto a tree trunk or other object. There they leave their old skin and emerge as a winged cicada.
It seems all of creation has an assignment. What is ours? In Acts 22:9-10, after Paul bowed his knee to who Jesus was, he asked, “‘What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said, “Get up, go into Damascus. There you will be told everything you have been given to do.”
Each of us has an assignment – something we are given to do by God.
Whilst digital technologies have given us wonderful windows on the world, they can consume so much of our time that there’s no time given to finding out our God-given assignment. God’s voice is heard when we give Him time. When we are still. When we are listening. When we are seeking. When we are asking, “God, tell me – what do you want me to do?” Not just for the big assignments in life, but for the day to day ones too.
Father, Your assignment for me is far more important than keeping up with social media numerous times a day. I want to shake away this complacency and get on task with You and what You have for me to do. For Your glory, Amen.
What have you been given to do?