Now we’re getting towards the end of the Summer, there’s an awful lot of flies about! It’s one of the downsides of living out in the countryside. So my owner has purchased an electric fly zapping machine which sits on one of the kitchen cabinets. And take my word for it, -it’s absolutely terrifying. Especially at night! Unsuspecting flies are lured in by its eerie purple light. And once they touch the electric grid, sparks begin to fly and a horrible buzzing and crackling sound confirms another execution. After which the sickly smell of cremated fly wafts around the entire kitchen. So it’s hardly surprising that I’m finding it hard to sleep at night.
I know that humans with insomnia sometimes like to shut their eyes and count sheep jumping over fences. It’s supposed to help them drift off to sleep. I’ve tried a slightly different version of this. I visualise Pope Francis doing the Olympic pole-vault in his robes. By the time he’s achieved his fifty-second clearance, I’ve normally nodded off. That is until the next execution occurs.
Yes, the fly zapping machine really does belong to the world of horror films. And I’ve never understood why so many humans watch horror movies as a form of entertainment. Because no right-minded parrot would ever want to invite vampire bats, Zombies or Frankenstein into their living room! Believe it or not, my owner sometimes does, and I have to sit there on his shoulder and endure the whole thing, usually with my head tucked under my wing for safety!
The problem for humans is that they have a remarkable curiosity and a yearning to try all kinds of different experiences. They like to be transported away from their own daily existence to an entirely different world, even if that world is threatening and full of evil. Movies allow humans to step into a different world, and then to step back out again afterwards. So long as this happens, no real harm is done. The real problem occurs when humans decide to step into an evil world which is not contained within the parameters of a movie. The world of political dictatorships; the world of drugs gangs; the world of crime; the world of terrorism; the world of abuse and persecution and goodness knows what else. Once they’ve stepped into any of these worlds, it’s incredibly difficult for them to step back out.
Curiosity can work in two ways. It can either bring us closer to God, or it can lead us into disaster or sin. The flies soon get to realise this in the kitchen, and so did Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Ultimately, our sense of curiosity will respond to whatever we pack into our minds. If we pursue more good than evil, then our curiosity is less likely to lead us astray:
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.” (Luke 6:45a).
Hopefully this is the case for my owner. He only watches the odd horror movie and usually prefers to fill his mind with more positive thoughts and images. And I’m sure this makes him enjoy life more! Even some of the earliest Roman Emperors knew this for a fact:
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” (Marcus Aurelius Antonius (121-180): Roman Emperor and philosopher known as one of the “Five Good Emperors”).
And this is also why the Lord’s Prayer contains these two important lines:
“And lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil…” (Matthew 6:13).
The human world is full of a great many lures which trap, harm and destroy the unsuspecting. They are like allegorical “human zappers.” And far too many humans suffer as a result. As Albert Einstein once put it:
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
(Albert Einstein (1879-1955): German-born theoretical physicist).
I like to think that humans are better than flies. So as you finish reading this blog, fill your mind with beautiful thoughts so that you transform the world around you into a beautiful place. The very place where God wants us to be!