Today begins the sober season of Lent, but before embarking on this time of personal introspection and repentance for all the ways I fall short of what God intends my life to be, it's good to pause for just a moment to think back to last week and especially to last week's choir practice. We almost always have a lot of fun at choir practice, but last week's practice was over the top. Seemingly out of nowhere, a giant fly joined us shortly after practice started, alighting on the director's hair and refusing at first to budge. As efforts to shoo the fly away became more energetic, choir practice degenerated into a slapstick farce. Following the director as she flapped her arms alternately in time to the music followed by attempts to wave away the fly became a challenge. Some of the women on the front row began jumping up to help the director wave the fly away, making it even more difficult to stay in sync with the music. But when the fly landed on the piano keys, things really got out of hand! Responding to the cries urging her to swat the fly, the pianist swung gamely away, slipping backwards off her chair in the process. About this time, the pastor reappeared in the room with a can of insecticide and a large piece of cardboard and began chasing the fly around the room. Fumes filled the small space, but the fly finally began to slow in its gyrations. One of the tenors told us about a website where people can combine words to make new ones and of the new word "beelzebug" for an annoying insect that haunts a room. When the fly finally landed on the floor near the door, the woman next to me jumped up and, after several attempts, succeeded in squashing Beelzefly. In the midst of the cheers and hilarity that followed, the choir director was finally able to take us through the music for Sunday, which we sang with hearts made glad by holy laughter. If we are alert, we will often find God sprinkling our lives with joy, something like the fairy dust in the tales I loved as a child.
Grace and Peace,