Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Obsessed with Light

 About every 4-6 weeks, we get an unwelcome visit here on the island. The lake flies, which resemble large gnats, descend upon us.

 For several nights last week I had two choices in the evening, sometime around 7 p.m., - stay in light and be "attacked," or take cover in my stifling mosquito net. After suffering for a bit, I eventually took the second option.

 According to Wikipedia, these bugs are called "chironomidae" and have a global presence. Elsewhere they are known as "sand flies," "muckleheads," "muffleheads," "blind mosquitos," or "chizzywinks." The names make them sound much cuter and more interesting than they really are. : (

 Wikipedia also says, "This is a large group of insects" that has "over 5000 described species and 700 species in North America alone." Wow, talk about humungous family reunions!

 I have heard that these obnoxious bugs have a lifespan of only 24 hours, so after a long night of obsessive swarming around lights, they give up the ghost and leave their bodies scattered all over our floors, windowsills, etc. "When large numbers of adults die they can build up into malodorous piles," says Wikipedia. "Malodorous" basically means "large and stinky."

A "malodorous" pile of dead lake flies, swept out of the dining room and on to the veranda.
 Yes, they have a peculiar quirk - they are obsessed with light - any light: light bulb, computer screen, cell phone, power switch - well, you get the idea.

 As Amanda wisely pointed out, there are other bugs that much prefer shadows and darkness, like mosquitos or cockroaches - yuck!

 I guess if I had a choice of which I would rather be compared to - lake fly or mosquito, I would choose the lake fly. Even though they are pesky and I am so relieved they have finally left the island for awhile, I believe they can teach a valuable lesson.

 "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." - John 3:19-21

  "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." - I John 1:5-7

  I can't say that I am "obsessed" with light like the lake fly - not like I should be. I often fear letting God shine His intense and penetrating light into my heart because there are some shadows and darkness there. But God's light is meant to expose and "kick out" the darkness. The I John passage above says that when we walk in the light we can have sweet fellowship with fellow Christians and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from the sin that has shadowed our hearts. God wants to eradicate the darkness and replace it with His loving and truth-upholding light. Then why should I fear the light? I shouldn't.

 In God's light I find the Saviour's cleansing forgiveness, the Father's forgiving embrace, the sweetness of fellowship with other light-lovin' believers, the truth that sets me free, and so much more!

 I think those lake flies are wise - be obsessed with light - God's light!


  1. That's so amazing that you can take such an aggravating situation and turn it into a wonderful analogy! Your video made me itchy just watching it, and that picture!!
    You're my hero! (-:

  2. Lauren, thank you for the encouragement! It was an attempt to turn something negative into something positive, and I love looking for spiritual analogies anywhere and everywhere (perhaps that is a trait of the spiritual gift of teaching :).
    I know "living and walking in the light" is a lesson I need to keep learning. :)