Last night I was reading in bed, and as I prepared to go to sleep I heard that familiar buzzing sound that meant a fly had found a home in my lamp. I turned off the light, and the fly left me alone.
Why do bugs do this? They always buzz around and bounce off of lightbulbs until eventually the heat or the collision impact kills them.
There couldn’t be anything stupider; the fly essentially kills itself by making the same mistake over and over again. Yes, they annoy us in the process, but really I just feel bad for the creatures. Why do they do such stupid things?
This morning, I looked it up. Flies (and other flying creepy things) navigate naturally by the light of the moon and stars. Because the sky is so far away, they can keep their light source at a certain angle to their bodies at all times. This worked out great until humans invented artificial light. Smaller light sources confuse the bug’s navigational signaling, and in an effort to maintain the proper flight angle the poor creatures end up flying in circles around the fake light source. Now I feel even worse; these bugs make stupid choices because humans messed them up!
If we take an honest look at ourselves, don’t we do the exact same thing as flies?
Our natural navigation systems like to keep us at a constant angle towards God. We are His creation, and our hearts yearn to return to Him. We want to fly in line with the moon! Instead, we let ourselves get distracted by smaller light sources. We want to follow God, and yet here we are circling around things that will ultimately lead us to failure. Even worse, we often serve as those light sources for others, snagging them off of their intended path.
A “lamp” in my life is perfection. Rather than angling towards grace and forgiveness, I angle towards impossible standards. Some people fly around wealth, some around beauty, and some around human love. We are such dumb little flies! Why can’t we see that the true navigation system for our lives wants to lead us and love us? All we have to do is stop following the lightbulbs and look towards the moon.
At the same time, I wonder how often I have unintentionally served as a false light for someone else. Have my actions and behaviors inadvertently pulled someone away from where they were supposed to be?
The issue of false light bulbs (that is, things we follow other than the Creator) is twofold; we have to consider both how we are affected and how we affect others.
When thinking about what you follow in life, consider Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” You must remain devoted to the only true light source: Christ.
When thinking about how you can best help others to remain on the narrow road, consider Philippians 3:17, “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” We have to watch out for one another and help each other realize when our eyes are not on God. We also have to help our brothers and sisters realize when they may be leading someone else astray. Life is a journey, and we have to help each other walk it.
Today I ask you to think about 3 things:
- What in my life serves as a false light source?
- How might I be leading someone else away from the true light?
- How can I work to change these things?