So… how bad is it going to be over here in central PA, specifically in Altoona. The last time the Brood X cicadas hit their 17-year cycle, I was at Hanover College. I can specifically remember that the entire ground was covered in cicadas. You could not take one step without stepping on one of these critters. I remember the deafening sounds. I can remember driving in my car and my windshield being covered in cicada guts… it was quite a summer.
But where are they? Aren’t they supposed to be here? I know my friends in Cincinnati and Maryland are getting them right now, but I haven’t seen or heard one here in central PA? Maybe here in Altoona we don’t get them?
Here is the thing. My son Ben is terrified of flies and bees. He got scared of them because a little beetle that my daughter was holding about a year ago, flew out of her hand and right onto Ben’s face. He totally freaked out. Now, I am dealing with his odd phobia. Basically, anything that flies around, he gets terrified, other than birds and butterflies. The fly could be a gnat, and he gets all shook up. I really have no idea how he is going to react when he comes face to face with the brood x horde.
But I am hopeful that the brood x horde might actually help him get over the fear of flying things. Face your fears, right? (well except for the fear that flew into his face a year ago) But the best way to get over your fear is to face it and overcome it. Begin to realize that there is nothing to be scared of whatsoever.
Faith is an act of facing your fears and the unknown path that it leads. We are constantly bombarded with things we are taught to be afraid of. Just a few weeks ago, the Colonial Pipeline got hacked and the entire state of Maryland freaked out. People rushed to horde on gasoline, as if it is the end of the world. I knew this because my family traveled to Maryland and there were zero places selling gasoline. But I had faith that we had enough gas to bring us back home to safe, secure, unafraid central PA. Fear can make us do crazy things. Afterall, remember the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it was impossible to find any toilet paper and hand sanitizer? Yikes.
Living with faith is all about trusting in people, trusting your community, and trusting in time. All of those things can be scary at times. For the past couple of years media has taught us to fear our neighbor, taught us that this country is divided, and that time is running out!
We forget that patience is a virtue, and that all good things happen when we wait. But also, faith teaches us to face those unknown tangibles in our life. We meet and greet people with a pure heart, without any malice or suspicion. We trust that no matter how bad things get, time is actually on our side. We meet our fears with faith.
So, for Ben, my 3-year-old son, brood x cicadas might be coming. It might be scary at first, but let’s face it together. And if he can’t shake that fear off this summer, then well the good news is that you won’t see them until the next 17 years.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).