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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)

TITLE: Stuck in the Flypaper
By Margaret Reed


When I hear that word selfishness, I think, "no way not me!" Oh, but yes the selfishness looms in my being like a fly

on sticky paper. You know the kind, the long orange gooey stuff you hang out on the back porch to catch flies. As a child living

in the country I grew up constantly getting those things stuck in my hair. Oh, it's not pretty when it's covered with dead flies, or

flies still buzzing trying to get free. You want nothing more to get it out of your hair as quickly as possible, but of course if you

tug at it and move around too quickly the entire thing will be tangled in your hair. Patience is the key to getting them out of your

hair. Sometimes removing one strand of hair at a time. Most of the time help is required in freeing yourself. There have been

times too, when it was nesasarry to bring out the scissors and cut your way out. Which sometimes leads to a new hairdo. This

may or may not be a good thing. After all who wants change forced on them in such a violent and unexpected manner.

Realizing our own selfishness and making appropriate changes in our lives can leave us feeling like we've been

trapped in the fly paper way to long. How do we free ourselves from the sticky goop? How do we keep from inflicting more

damage than what we "want"? Have you taken a good look at the areas in your life that you may be selfish about. Do you

privately covet, you know, keeping up with the Jones? Do you desire money and fame? Do you wish your spouse would spend

more time with you? Do you wish your children behaved better, because they embarrass you? The list goes on and on my

friend. Every moment of every day we battle our own will. The thing that will free us from the flypaper first and foremost is

Jesus. Allow the Spirit to work in our hearts to clear out the goop, and cut off some of the hair if necessary. This may require

help; confession is good for the soul. We may even need outside help, maybe a mentor for advice. Maybe even professional

guidance. However the Spirit leads, we should follow. Remember selfishness is a natural human feeling, but if left unchecked it

can become dangerous and self-destructive.

A few years ago a very good Christian friend almost lost everything in her life because of selfishness. She wanted

more than she had. She found it to be difficult to be content as a mother and wife. Her husband made a great living and she was

free to do anything she wanted. Her favorite pastime was shopping. Only this never seemed to be good enough for her. She

always complained that her life wasn't good enough. She wanted more, until one day she started seeking outside her marriage.

She became a magnet to all the wrong things in life, drugs, alcohol and affairs. In her selfishness she nearly lost her husband

and her children. With professional and spiritual help she and her family are on the road to recovery.

Selfishness can seep into your life over a period of time, as it did with my friend. Then it seems it takes on a life all it's

own. Before you know it you will have to take out the scissors and made drastic changes to free yourself from the flypaper. If

however we patiently remove the strands of hair from the flypaper daily, our selfishness will be at a minimum, allowing us to

live a life more selflessly focused on Jesus.

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This article has been read 785 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Deikun02/21/05
I thought the analogy of flypaper was interesting and creative. The spacing on this made it hard to read, but looked like it was unintentional. I liked how you showed how we gett "stuck" and then what a job to free ourselves!
donna robinson02/21/05
I have such a vivid imagination and I could just see this fly paper and all the damage it was doing and how the more you struggle the worse it gets. Then you brought it around a little more.
Amy Davis02/23/05
Precise and to the point. At first I thought, "Gross-Flypaper!" Then I realized this was an excellent analogy because selfishness is even nastier than flypaper. Well done.
Crista Darr02/24/05
Stuck in the flypaper? Yuck. Jesus gets us out of all kind of sticky messes. I've never seen a fly rescue himself.