No Fly Zone

“…and the insects in the fields are mine.”

Psalm 50:11b

We moved into a new house last month, and then were out of town for a couple weeks. We came back home to flies. Lots of them.

Our inside garage door was accidentally left open, and that might have been the culprit–flies buzzing in from our garage. Either that or it could have been a banana peel left in the kitchen trash. Whatever the reason, a whole bunch of flies have made themselves right at home in our new place.

I have decided that one phrase I can never ethically utter is “I wouldn’t hurt a fly”, because I most definitely would. And have.

Things are more under control now, but these last few flies are smart! I pick up a fly swatter, and suddenly they are nowhere to be found. I raise my hands to clap at one of those buggers, and they’ll remain steadily out of reach. While I’ve come to grudgingly respect these few flying aces, I’ve decided not to feel guilty for wanting them gone. They are pesky, and dirty, and invasive, and they won’t leave us alone!

So, if you’re a member of PETA, you might be disappointed that this devotion is not condemning the harming of God’s tiny-winged creatures. No, my reaction to the situation is this:

Life can be frustrating when solutions to the pesky problems I face remain stubbornly out of reach.

Minor medical problems that just won’t go away. The barking dog next door that makes it hard to take a decent nap. Little festering work problems that I take home with me. 1001 tiny details I need to get a handle on but can’t ever seem to cross of my to-do list.

I need a “No Fly Zone”. A sanctuary from all of those infinitesimal complications that threaten to choke my love of life. I’m not talking about an extended vacation to the arctic circle, where I’m guessing flies don’t live. I’m talking about a daily respite from the little annoyances that chip away at my calm center.

Or wait. Perhaps I’m wrong about this. Perhaps, instead, I need to learn to find serenity even in the midst of the flies. Remember the Serenity Prayer? Here’s my altered version:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the flies I cannot swat.

The courage to swat the ones I can.

And the wisdom to know the difference.

My new house may never completely become a “No Fly Zone”, but my soul can keep learning to fly by focusing on the big things, the things that truly give meaning to my life. The tiny annoyances fade into the background when I keep my eyes on God’s great purposes.

In other words, I need to learn how to keep my eyes on the Prize…

instead of the flies.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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