This might be a loud year. Billions of Cicadas are forecast to emerge over the coming weeks. The ugly little critter in this blog’s photograph is also a noisy one—potentially generating 120 decibels of sound at close range. That would be louder than the music at a worship service, and on par with the decibels of sound generated by a chainsaw.
2021 is the year of Brood X Cicadas—the group of bugs in the eastern United States that are on a 17-year cycle. And this is their year to emerge en masse. I guess we’ll hear about it if it happens.
Some things in life take a long time—like at least 17 years long. It was more than two 17-year cycles ago (that would be 34 years) that a young pastor named Kevin Butler taught a group of scruffy kids at a family camp in Central New York how to pray using the ACTS acronym (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
I am one of those scruffy kids who went on to use the ACTS prayer over many years after that family camp season. The story gets better. I consider it a tremendous blessing to now be able to pray with that same Pastor Kevin Butler on a routine basis. On the one hand, my friend is clearly long suffering. He also sees the importance of guiding through the full process.
As President of the SDB General Conference, Pastor Kevin has called us to focus on how we are “Restored for a Purpose”. This focus of restoration and purpose also coincides with our 350th Anniversary as a General Conference. Restoration has a long arc across history. Purpose is pointed to across generations and finds culmination in the present when we recognize our mutually shared past. Restored for a Purpose necessarily intersects with knowing our history.
Here is something that is a whole lot better than loud bugs. I am looking forward to a number of endeavors in upcoming months that the SDB Council on History is undertaking to lead us in celebrating our 350th Anniversary. Even more, I am excited to hear and see how they connect the dots for us to see how God has been shaping and leading us to this place, where we recognize that God has Restored for a Purpose—which reaches well into the future.
Photo courtesy of Samuel C. Greene