Aren’t flies annoying! They buzz buzz buzz around your head, just out of reach, disturbing your concentration. To start with, you hardly even acknowledge their presence, but then you begin to really notice them! They are just so exasperating that you want them out of your space; so you bat at them and flick at them, but without any real intention of finishing them off properly. On occasions you close the door to imprison them, and prevent their intrusion into other rooms. But you forget, and by accident let them out again – buzz buzz buzz around your head. And then at last, sometimes after hours, or even days of irritation, you finally get out the fly swatter or find a newspaper, and with a sustained effort you splat them or shoosh them out of the window. (And what a mess they make when they’re splatted!)
Our thoughts can sometimes be like those bothersome flies. Many of our unconscious thoughts are good and beneficial, as we process things and weigh them up. But there are other thoughts that are unhealthy, tainted, and sometimes downright sinful. At first we hardly notice them; buzz buzz buzz around our heads. We mull over what someone said about us; we debate and justify taking unkind actions; we dwell on our financial worries, or on our loneliness; we repeat crude jokes to ourselves, and language we would never admit to out loud; we argue with ourselves whether to fulfill our personal greed – cream cakes, posh ice-cream, toast and Marmite (or perhaps that’s just me – but do feel free to insert your own indulgences!) These harassing thoughts buzz buzz buzz around our heads, and all they do is fill up our thinking space. We need to stop ignoring them, get out our metaphorical fly swatters, open the windows, and get those bothersome thoughts out for good! Then we can use that extra space in our heads to think properly, and be more at peace with ourselves, and with God.
Of course, if it’s a wasp, you have to deal with it straight away, but that’s a much more serious matter!