Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Parable of the Fly

By Lacey Gunter

My husband is a fresh air junky.  He has a very difficult time existing without a lot of outside doors and windows being open.  As such, we usually have a constant influx of flies in our house for all but the coldest months.  This gives me a lot of time to observe their behavior.

It never ceases to amaze me how many times a fly can ram full force into a light bulb thinking maybe this time it will work.  One can admire these flies for their persistence, but is still doesn't get them to where they want to be.

Not every fly is like this. Some go exploring, albeit haphazardly, but exploring none the less. Usually, these are the flies that make it out.  One might try to argue that these flies just gave up on their goal and only came upon a working solution by chance.  But I would argue their persistence was the same, it was their methods that differed, which in the end let to success.

What can we learn from these two types of flies? One has laser focus and drives continually forward on what he believes to be the right path. Yet time and time again he fails and refuses to broaden his perspective. The other one appears to wander, in what seems to the onlooker to be an aimless pattern, but his strategy leads to success more often than not.

This is a scenario I come across sometimes in statistics and probability.  What seems to be the intuitive best choice can actually end up giving you sub-par results.

Often in our writing and our parenting we can get stuck thinking there is a certain correct way of doing things.  Even though the way has yet to achieve the results we believe it should be achieving, we tell ourselves that if we just keep doing it, eventually it will work out the way we want it to.  It may be our writing process, the way we choose to discipline a child or even a long list of jobs or activities we believe we have to maintain.  We keep treading this same path, not because it has made us a better writer or a better mother, but because we know it and are more comfortable sticking with what we already know.  We then reassure ourselves by saying success only comes through persistence.
Well ladies, persistence is a good thing, but only when it is coupled with wisdom and learning.   Otherwise, we are just ramming our heads into the light over and over and over again.  We need to also be willing to step back and ask, is there something I can learn and improve upon from this experience?  Is there another perspective I can take that will help me see the bigger picture? This may require us to seek direction through inspiration, which to the naive onlooker may look like aimless wandering. But with the Master as our guide, the person whose perspective is eternal, we kind find the correct path to follow. It will still require persistence. We may have to travel through many different doorways and rooms. But at least in the end we will find our way out. 


  1. I love this! Just this past week I attended an online Mom Conference, just to see what they might have to offer, and I learned SO much. Got so much perspective and now I'm excited to try some new things. Thanks for this great reminder.

  2. Damn straight, I have had times when I have felt like I am flying around in circles and mistaking closed doors for open doors



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