First of all – happy August! We made it through another month – maybe this new one will bring some rain, hopefully…
A couple of nights ago, after watching all the Olympics I cared to watch, I headed upstairs to go to bed. At the top of the stairs, illuminated only by our small candelabra of tiny little lights, I saw the strangest sight. Hermes, our tawny colored, ever-busy cat, was sitting with his face to the wall, right next to the little table that held the candelabra. Just sitting there, I thought – what an odd thing for a cat to do, even having them around for more than 15 years now, and observing the hundreds of different weird things all of the cats do on a regular basis.
As I started to counsel Hermes to not be so weird, and ask him what he was doing just sitting there, I noticed he was focused on something – his head was moving in the tiniest twitches. It was then I also noticed what was going on – apparently a fly had gotten into the house somehow, and was zipping back and forth around the candelabra, and had caught Hermes’ complete attention. Flies are the bane of almost every cat’s existence, I have learned. I’ve watched everything from kittens to old cats leap and twist in mid-air, cackling at a fly on a window, or racing across the room to try to destroy the nefarious, wicked insect. It’s exhausting, and often leads to something getting broken as the fly becomes the prey of the mighty hunter.
I had no fly swatter handy, which normally is what we have to do when there is a fly sighting. Plus, it was really dark, and I was too tired to go on safari, so I did what most any sensible human owner would do – I shut the lights off, and went to bed.
I had just settled my brain for a long summer’s nap, when all around the room, there arose such a clatter… I opened my eyes, looked out onto the floor, and there in the night shadows, I was able to barely distinguish the outline of a tawny cat, jumping and leaping and twisting and racing around like a bullet all around the floor. It was as if some wild animal had somehow made its way through a window, and it was up to Hermes to keep the house safe. Then I realized – the fly was in the bedroom. That stinking little winged monster was playing Hermes like a fiddle, leading him on a wild chase up and down the wall and across the floor.
Hermes, for his part, was being very quiet, but even a cat creates noise when there is no other noise, as he tries to hunt the mighty beast. Even though I was tired, I found myself fascinated to see how the game would end. I could barely make out the cat, and it appeared the fly wore a cloak of invisibility. Still Hermes persisted, running back and forth in the darkness, leaping and missing…
Until – I think somehow he caught it. He stopped jumping, and started the routine of running in circles and back and forth, chasing something on the carpet. What I surmise is that he managed to cold-cock the insect, and sent it spinning to the ground, where it ended up disoriented, and unable to fly. By the way, when a fly can no longer fly, what do you then call it?
The ground assault kept of for a few minutes more – and then silence. I hate to think about it, but I’m pretty sure he ate the fly. That’s life in the jungle, I guess. Whatever happened, the room remained quiet, and I noticed the back legs and tail of the mighty hunter as he left the room. The next morning – no sign of a carcass, or anything for the Fly CSI team to follow up on.
Another mission accomplished, and the house was again inspected and found safe for inhabitance – at least until the next “event” comes along…
I suppose there are times, now and then, when each of us goes “fly hunting.” Something grabs our attention, or moves into our lives, and everything else takes a back seat until we are able to either catch it, or it flies completely away, and we wait for another day. I mentioned Aaron’s prospective job offers and process, and one of the possible twists in the plot is that it could happen that Adam might decide to move with Aaron, and they set up shop and housekeeping in a new state, a new town, a new life. Adam, it appears, with the pandemic, has a job in which all of his work is remote, so it really doesn’t matter where the “remote” is. Of course, right now, no one knows which position Aaron will accept or even be offered finally, so the fly chase has begun. Discussions around the table are a bit more focused, and there are more questions than decisions, and it’s almost as if you can hear the fly buzzing above all of our heads.
The good news is, of course, that eventually, and probably sooner than later – we will catch the fly. A good decision will rise to the top, and whatever happens we can deem to be a good turn of our lives. In the meantime, of course, whiffs of urgency, and the fast wing-flapping of a thousand questions zoom by our eyes. It’s uneasy, and no real way to grab hold of the thing and solve what cannot yet be solved. But soon, God will show us the way where the way seems dark and cloudy. We, in the end, don’t have to know where we are exactly – we just need to remember where God is. And to intentionally follow THAT lead, wherever it goes.
Peace to you in your own fly-hunting. May you find what you are looking for as well…
Saying for the day: One of my favorite writers, Thomas Jefferson, once wrote: In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principal, stand like a rock.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.