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Posted by Faron Franklin on Thursday, March 11, 2010 Under: Faron's Footnote

This past week I was working on my sermon.  I was sitting at the computer pecking away at the keys.  Over my shoulder, illuminating my fingers as they tapped their way across the keyboard, was a light bulb from a single lamp.   As the thoughts of my mind melted through my fingers and spilled on my monitor, my concentration became distracted by the flickering of that light source.  First, I thought the blub was about to blow.  I expected any moment to be in the dark with my face reflecting the glow of my computer screen.  The flickering continued, but now I was hearing a tapping sound---not made by my dancing fingers across my computer keys.  I stopped my typing and looked behind me only to find a single moth flying around the light.  I thought, hasn’t it been too cold for these little creatures?   In the moth’s confusion it was hitting against the hot bulb with its hard head and burning its velvet soft wings.

     This event brought a question to my mind:  “Why would this insect be so attracted to the light?”  So I brought up my web browser and began my research.   The answer to my question surprised me.  

Moths spend most of their time sleeping, looking for food, and looking for mates.   Most of the time they sleep is during the day.  Their search for dinner and procreation takes place at night.  Moths by their very nature are not fortunate enough to be provided with maps, street signs, or neon lights flashing “EAT” to guide them to feeding or mating spots.

They use starlight, and particularly moonlight, for navigation.  By maintaining a consist angle in reference to the light source, the moth knows where to fly.  Unfortunately for these insects, however, humans introduce artificial light sources that lull the moths into assuming that a light bulb is actually their natural reference point.

An English biologist, R. R. Baker, developed the hypothesis that when moths choose the artificial light source as their reference point, and try keeping a constant angle to it, they end up flying around the light in ever-smaller concentric circles until they literally settle on the light source.  Baker even speculates that moths hover on or near the light because they are attempting to roost; falsely believing that it is daytime, their regular sleeping hours.  Moths have been known to burn themselves by resting on light bulbs.  Others become so disoriented that they can’t escape until the light is turned off or true sunlight appears.

Christians do the same thing, don’t we?   We are supposed to navigate through life by using the Son as our Light, our natural reference point.   Yet, we find ourselves in a dark moment of our lives and we head for the first thing that glitters:  a new car, a fancy house, a quick fix or easy money.   When we need to be waiting for the True Light we begin chasing after the artificial.  Often we end up running in circles seeking for a place to rest only to get burned in the end. 

Have you lost your direction?      In John 9:5 Jesus reminds us, “I am the Light of the world.”   He is our True Source of light.   2 Corinthians 11:14 warns, “Satan is an angel of light.”    Don’t be fooled by Satan’s synthetic creations.    Let your light shine because you are reflecting the True Light.   Become so accustomed to the True Source that you will not be tricked into following deception.

The next time you see a moth heading straight for a flicker of light remember he is not flying toward the bulb, but he is looking for the moon.  Bear in mind the lesson of the moth: Don’t settle for a glimmer of light when you should be seeking the moon---the true source of light.

In : Faron's Footnote 

Tags: light focus 


Faron Franklin
Mcdonald, Pa
Faron Franklin