Sharper Focus – “Fly Season”

by Linda Manhardt, Major

America has four seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. As far as I can discern, the Philippines also has four seasons. I have been here a little over a year now, so I think I’ve been through the entire season cycle. They are: hot and humid, typhoon season, hot and humid again, and fly season. Yes, flies have their own season!

During fly season, you will find those pesky varmints everywhere—on your legs, in your ears, in your coffee, and, if you’re not careful, up your nose!

As I entered the office one morning a few weeks ago, I came upon a Muslim woman sitting where the college secretary usually sits. Upon further inspection, I found that it was, in fact, the college secretary hidden between multiple layers of sarongs. From head to toe, she had covered herself in what I later learned was her annual fly protection armor.

For many days, I laughed as I saw her shuffle from place to place in her protective gear. And then, one day the sarongs disappeared along with the swarms of flies that had plagued us. Oh sure, we still had the occasional fly or two, but the onslaught had ended. We could all take a breath of fresh air without the fear of swallowing something unpleasant. As quickly as the plague had descended upon us, it had disappeared. Fly season was officially over.

As we cycle through the various seasons of our lives, we find that we enjoy some more than others. There are easy seasons and seasons of difficulty. God has something to teach us through each of them—even if it is only endurance.

The “fly” seasons can come in various forms—a difficult appointment or employer, illness, self-doubt, being misunderstood—to name a few. So many things can pester the life—the spiritual life—out of us if we allow them to. Embrace the seasons as they come. You may be in a difficult one right now, but seek out what God has to teach you during this difficult season.

I would like to leave you with two very important pieces of advice if you find yourself entering into a “fly” season in your life. First, always cover your coffee between sips. And second, follow the very wise example of my college secretary and wrap yourself in the protective armor of God’s love.

Trust me. Fly season will pass.

It always does.

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