Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church

Looking for Spring in all the Wrong Places

April 29th, 2014 by Pastor David Echelbarger


Looking for Spring in all the Wrong Places

Pastor David L. Echelbarger

            Maybe I am looking for Spring in all the wrong places.  Actually there is one place I am looking for Spring.  It is experiencing warmth!   I was so cold yesterday I turned on my office space heater.  I have been overlooking other evidence that spring is coming.  The single aspen tree in our yard is pollinating.  The crocuses have bloomed and now are devoting their energy to bulb formation.  Daffodils are now taking their place.  It is important to embrace spring by multiple sightings, if we only expect one thing; we miss the awakening of life. 

            I had two experiences of spring this week, one visual, the other was physical contact.  I was out in the yard picking up sticks when I saw a fly catcher, swooping toward the grass, again and again.  If fly catchers have arrived, there must be insects – a sure sign of spring.  That had me going to the shed digging out the wren houses.  Last year in early spring I was trying to remember what a wren sounded like, so I found a recording online and played it on my phone while on the deck.  Immediately I was buzzed by a wren who was drawn to the call.  If bugs are here, wrens are soon to follow.  I even stuck an orange out for visiting orioles and the hummingbird feeders went up as well. 

            In keeping with the idea that the arrival of insects coincide with the arrival of spring, I went on an after church bike ride with a friend.  We were nuts enough to brave a nasty East wind and ride toward Lake Michigan for a shore ride.  When we had nearly reached the lake, I suddenly inhaled something that had me coughing. Obviously my oxygen deprived body was gulping air opened mouthed – not good.  I heard ticking sounds on my helmet.  Flecks of something were bouncing off my clothing and bike: tiny little flies – a huge swarm.  No sooner were we through them, then we rode into another and another.

            As we rode by the golf course near Wind Point, we saw waves and waves of these insects rolling over the greens.  This was a hatch on the lake which probably means the brown trout were gorging themselves nearby in the shallows.  It also meant, I should get my boat ready and go get them.

            The ride ended, and it surely did not feel like spring, not if you are looking for warmth.  Still, I know now that it is coming. Who can argue the point if the bugs are here?  I just have to look in the right places.  The taste of bug in my mouth was the most tangible evidence yet.

            If we only expect to encounter God a single way – we will be disappointed.  Open wide your gaze and be surprised.

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