Sunday, August 9, 2009

On Looking in a Different Direction

There was a fly in the window this morning. It was frantically beating its head against the window trying to escape. What must it have thought of this invisible obstacle as it buzzed and bounced against the glass?

I tried to direct it out of the window frame. Less than a foot to its left stood an open door. We don't close the screen since Salvador stands and complains whichever side of it he's on. Less than a foot from freedom and whatever a fly does in its fondest dreams, yet it continued to struggle against the window glass and evaded my every effort to shoo it sideways.

I left it to its own devices. Flies escape eventually. I had to go to town for cat food and coffee and a dozen other of the necessities of life.

When I returned a couple of hours later the fly was still in the window, but this time it was upside down, lying on the sill, dead. This is a creature who has the most amazing ability to fly, can even defy gravity. There's was nothing to stop it from slipping away to freedom, but it built a prison - out of nothing. It only needed to look in any other direction but the one it was facing, and the solution to its problem would have been obvious. But it would not look.

We're often like that fly. How many times are we trapped in prisons of our own making? We beat our brains out against "realities" which bear little to no resemblance to the actual facts. We can become so caught up in our problems, our worries and frustrations, that we fail to see that freedom can be gained simply by looking in a different direction.

Our challenge is to use what we have been given in this life, whatever that is; and use it to wake up and escape all the prisons of our own making. No situation resolves until we have learned from it whatever it has to teach us.

That poor fly beat itself to death without realizing all it needed to do was move in a different direction.

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