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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Like a fly trapped in the window

We probably have all observed a fly buzzing frantically at the window, hitting himself repeatedly on the translucent glass. We hear the frenzied beat of those wings, coupled with the impact of his tiny body upon the glass. We probably all believe he is trying to get out again - but I have a question - if we call them house-flies, then isn't it logical they like it in the house? There are "stable-flies" and they are supposed to live in the stable, but do they find themselves constantly beating their tiny bodies into the barn walls all day long? Not usually because they are too busy enjoying their life of annoying the livestock in the barn and feeding on the byproduct of their waste! I wonder if the house-fly is buzzing so frantically at the window because it is discontent with where it is, or is it just silly enough to believe there is something more of the "house" beyond that translucent pane of glass? Life as a fly must be pretty different for the house-fly because it sees life very differently than we experience it. It is constantly on the prowl for food - nothing unusual about that! It is constantly feeding - nothing unusual about that. The unusual thing about flies is their inability to focus - they have what is termed "compound eyes", but they just cannot focus!

Stay true to my directives, and they will serve you well; make my teachings the lens through which you see life. (Proverbs 7:2 VOICE)

Flies have lots and lots of "visual receptors", but each one of these function as an eye all by itself. So, to a fly the world is made up of hundreds and hundreds of things they see all at one time, making their ability to focus on just one thing a little hard to do! The human eye can move, while the fly's eye is "fixed" in one position. We can move our eyeball right, left, up, and down - allowing us to take in more and more of our surroundings until we become acquainted with them. The fly must "fly" in order to take in the entire surroundings in which they find themselves - maybe this is why they spend so much time trying to find one place to stay for a while! They just cannot focus, so they are constantly trying to make sense of the environment they are in and heaven knows, they don't want to miss anything which might make good use of their mischievous mouths!

You might ask why a fly is constantly able to fly away when we swing at it with the swatter if their ability to focus is so limited. If you think about all the "fields of vision" the fly has, it is pretty aware of movement because of all those "out of focus" images they see portrayed to their tiny brains. They can perceive it, although they don't know exactly what it is, they just know it is coming at them and they move to avoid it! They have one mission - to feed, to poop, and to feed again. Somewhere in the mix, they will lay eggs in order to multiply their number, but this is about all we can count on from the fly buzzing at the window! Except that it carries disease and has no clue it is spreading it over and over again upon everything it finds perch upon! 

Many times we go through life with a "fly's eye" - unable to focus, taking all kinds of stuff in, avoiding what we perceive as a threat, but constantly on the prowl for what may make us happy. We have similar difficulty focusing - constantly receiving input from every direction, but not doing a very good job understanding that input. Like the fly, we beat ourselves silly time and time again thinking there is something "better" just beyond that "wall of glass" we seem to be hitting. We see it, sort of, and imagine there must be something better "out there" which we haven't experienced. In truth, we just haven't figured out what it is we are seeing because we are trying to focus on too many different things all at one time. The Christian life is not one of "taking it all in" as much as it is one of allowing the "one thing" we focus on to begin to impact our lives deeply.

We look for the next best thing to feed upon, always looking to satisfy an insatiable appetite for more. We are like the fly - flitting here and there, until one day we feel a little "trapped" by our mindless and unfocused flight. It at that moment where we come up against the obstacle we pound relentlessly upon, believing somehow to be able to escape, all the while trying to avoid what is trying to do us harm. Thank goodness God doesn't leave us to our own devices forever! Instead of leaving us in a place where we see no way of escape, he opens wide the windows of our soul and gives us flight into a newness of life. In turn, he gives us focus! We don't immediately begin to see clearly, but in time, we begin to focus more and more clearly on the one thing that really brings us satisfaction (Jesus). Just sayin!