Actual Food — On The Fly

Sustenance for The Spirit

Ever have that moment when you thought you were alone…in your kitchen…about to sip a fresh cup of coffee, and you hear it…the buzz. Then you see the culprit. A fly has dared to invade your home. Your hunter instincts kick in, searching for your best weapon, be it the traditional fly swatter or a handier substitute (like a cookbook or wooden spoon, which I wouldn’t recommend due to possible residual damage). You stop and listen again. You look for sticky spots on your countertop as they’re always a likely lure for any respectable fly. This can go on for only a few moments, or for hours, depending on your swatting swiftness and how smart this particular fly turns out to be. They are pesky creatures, and unfortunately we must contend with them, especially in the summer months. But really, if they like the heat so much, why are they constantly trying to get in where they share my cool space? If they could only be content.

And, thankfully in this scenario, I’m only dealing with one fly. I can’t imagine the Old Testament plague of thousands or millions of flies descending on Pharoah’s Egypt because he just couldn’t bring himself to release all the slave labor his country had come to depend upon. My son used to live in the plains of southern Oklahoma, and there were times when we visited, when I felt like I was back in Egypt in the middle of another fly plague. The flies were monstrous and there were many. Each child was given a fly swatter and prizes could be had for the most fly devastation. Yes, at times we actually made a game out of it.

Now, back to my single fly. I’m standing in an air conditioned home, drinking a beverage, with comfortable shoes on my feet, and coordinated clothing on my back. I have plenty of food in my pantry, water on tap, bottled spring water in my frig, working appliances, lovely flora outside my windows and friends and neighbors to call on if needed. At any given moment, my blessing list outnumbers my pesk list by millions. Then why do I let one measly fly distract me into stress and frustration? I don’t like to believe that I’m a shallow individual, but a simple fly can bring me into a human reality of immediacy, characterized by thoughts like, what is happening right now is what is most important. I seek homeostasis, and quickly. I can’t allow some irritation like an insect to take me out of my complacent dream of peace and contentment. I must have my silence back. I must get back to my moment. MY moment.

And Paul said, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…” (Phil. 4:11)

And Jesus said to a wealthy young man, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

And David said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” (Psalm 23:1, NIV)

I guess there is good, even in a fly. Interruptions are often reminders of the good in front of us. I still plan to smash that fly, because it carries germs and the Lord blessed me with enough common sense to know I don’t want those germs in my kitchen. But, I can appreciate something even as frustrating as a fly when it helps me realize more fully how God intervenes in ways that we can’t understand or comprehend. He takes us out of our shallow reality and pushes us forward spiritually by forcing us to acknowledge how contented we should be, how contented we are if we simply embrace each moment as HIS moment. I know what you’re thinking…and maybe I am going there…being thankful for a fly, and even for flies in general. It’s hard. I know. I’m not sure I’m there yet, but with the Spirit as my guide, God can get me there. Keep your fly-swatter handy for the next few months, and be content in the beauty of God’s balance between frustration and perfection.

Have a wonderful day!

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Xan Holub

A skeptical baby boomer, a Christian woman with a desire to share honest messages from a heart shaped in a life of stability, yet facing a world on the edge.