Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's Just A Fly

If a bug comes into my house and I see it, its short life just got a little shorter. I especially don't like flies in my house. I have had some extensive hunts, with the fly swatter in hand, that went from one end of the house to the other - several times, before I dispatched the buzzing trespassers. That's why it struck me as odd that I viewed the dead fly on my upstairs bathroom windowsill with such poignancy. If I had seen him when he was alive and flying around, I would have instantly transformed into hunter mode. But looking at the dead fly, at the highest part of the house, lying dead just on the wrong side of the window of freedom - well, it just struck me as sad. He slipped into the house through a quickly opened door because his instincts told him there was food to be had if he could just get into that giant storehouse. All he found was imprisonment, hopelessness, and death.
Okay, maybe he was incapable of being depressed, feeling hopeless, and even regretting his mistake. Maybe he was just being led by his instincts. Still, the analogy is appropriate for us. How many of us chase after something that will never satisfy, fulfill, or sustain us? How many people fly into the open door of easy opportunities and sensual possibilities only to find a new prison, and for some, death? Isn't that letting our instincts lead and control us? Satan loves to use our desires as leashes to lead us where he wants us to go. Maybe the real difference between us and the house fly is that our ability to think is used to rationalize our actions rather than keeping us from flying into something that can destroy us.
I probably won't ever us this as a sermon illustration, but I kind of like the idea that even a dead fly can make me think. That doesn't mean I'm throwing away my fly swatter.

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