It was the first one of the season. Granted, it's not a part of the season that I especially look forward to, but I have simply grown to accept it.
As I was walking from the van to our kitchen door Sunday night, I saw it. It flew at me with a singular purpose. Like a piranha attacking a chunk of meat dropped in the water or parched desert hiker charging for an oasis, it came at me. And landed on my right forearm. I quickly smacked it with my left hand and flicked the carcass away with my forefinger. The season's first mosquito.
I hate mosquitos. Many a night I've wondered aloud to God why he came up with such a creature and asked quietly what they could have been like before the earth was cursed by sin. Bloodsuckers. That's all they are. Well, toss in "disease-spreaders" and that pretty much completes the resume. But I've never had much luck second-guessing the Almighty on affairs like this, so generally I file such thoughts away under "Questions For God's Spare Time" and forget about it.
But it's been awhile since I've seen anything come at me in such a ravenous fashion. Once in a while, after a long day away, my 4 year-old daughter will come running up to give me a hug, knocking us both over in the process. But there isn't the "hungriness" that this tiny insect had in the squeeze of a small child. On the other hand, there is no love shown in the charge of a blood-starved mosquito.
Somewhere in between, or perhaps more as a combination of both, is where I want my spiritual life to be. I want to feel so deprived of spiritual nourishment that I all but attack my Bible when study time comes. By the same token I want to come rushing up to my Heavenly Father, aching with so much love, that I cannot wait to feel His loving arms around me.
It's interesting that if I stay away from Him for any length of time, the spiritual malnutrition doesn't intensify my loving feelings -- it only urges me to stay far away and fend for myself. The taste of freedom brings up a desire for more freedom. I can easily find myself wandering farther away until something or Someone shakes me back to reality. I cannot manufacture the moment of wrapping my arms around my Creator or of a renewed feast upon His holy Word. It must come naturally... like a mosquito coming for food. Or like a child charging into the arms of a loving Father.